COVID-19 regulations renewed
Critical regulations to ensure the efficient and effective management of COVID-19 risks in Victorian workplaces are being renewed. The remaking of the regulations for an additional 12 months will ensure employers continue to notify WorkSafe of COVID-19 cases in their workplaces. The new regulations came into force on 27 July 2021.
Employers are required to notify WorkSafe immediately on becoming aware that an employee or an independent contractor or a contractor's employee has received a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and has attended the workplace during the infectious period. Self-employed persons are also required to inform WorkSafe immediately on receiving a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis if they have attended the workplace during the infectious period.
Failing to notify WorkSafe under s38 of the Act can lead to fines of up to $43,617 for an individual or $218,088 for a body corporate.
To notify WorkSafe of a positive COVID-19 diagnosis or for more information about the infectious period for the purposes of notification, go to this page or call the WorkSafe advisory service on 13 23 60.
New infographics on Sexual Harassment
Safe Work Australia has produced some new infographics which provide information to support small businesses meet their duties under Work Health Safety laws and outline some practical steps on how to prevent sexual harassment in the workplace. They cover:
- What is workplace sexual harassment?
- The impacts of sexual harassment
- Workplace sexual harassment – Your WHS duties
- Steps to prevent workplace sexual harassment
WHS/OHS duties require persons conducting a business or undertaking (such as employers) to do everything they reasonably can to prevent sexual harassment from occurring at work, just like other risks to health and safety.
National Fatality Statistics
Safe Work Australia updated its statistics on fatalities since July 22, at which time it had been notified that 60 Australian workers had been killed at work this year - two more than at its last update on July 8. The two fatalities were in Transport, postal & warehousing, and in Agrriculture, forestry & fishing. The total numbers of fatalities have been in the following sectors:
- 24 in Transport, postal & warehousing
- 9 in Construction
- 6 in Manufacturing
- 5 in Agriculture, forestry & fishing
- 4 in Arts & recreation services
- 2 in Mining
- 2 in Other Services
- 2 in Electricity, gas, water & waste services
- 2 in Public administration & safety
- 1 in Wholesale trade
- 1 in Accommodation & food services
- 1 in Education & training
- 1 'unknown'
These figures are based mainly on initial media reports and provide a preliminary estimate of the number of people killed while working. Once the appropriate authority has investigated the death, more accurate information becomes available from which Safe Work Australia updates details of the incident, consequently sometimes the numbers of deaths in each sector change. Updated information is used to publish Safe Work Australia’s annual Work-related Traumatic Injury Fatalities report which includes finalised work-related fatalities from 2003 onwards. Note that the figures are based on preliminary reports, and so at times will change. To check for updates, and for more details on fatalities since 2003, go to the Safe Work Australia Work-related fatalities webpage.