Having an effective COVID-safety plan is more important for business than ever
Businesses across the country should ensure they are abiding by the latest COVID-19 safety measures, as cases of community transmission are once again recorded in parts of Australia.
Some states have re-introduced strict measures to help combat the spread of the disease, while others have tightened their borders. Employsure, Australia’s largest workplace relations advisor to more than 28,00 small and medium-sized enterprises, is urging businesses to keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 guidelines.
“These next few weeks and months will be critical if there is to be a return to a more normal society, and employers need to stay up to date with the latest government public health orders,” said Employsure Health and Safety Senior Researcher Cathy Nguyen. "Business owners need to dedicate time each week to visit their relevant government website to see if there has been a change in directions. Currently masks are mandatory for most indoor settings in New South Wales, so it’s up to employers to enforce that or face fines.”
An effective COVID-safety plan will help businesses thrive if they implement it correctly and consistently. The plan can include ways to improve personal hygiene and the hygiene of the workplace. Having the correct hand sanitiser, wipes and all the necessary cleaning equipment available to staff is key to slowing the spread.
For those who have staff on-site in hotspot areas, employers may also choose to stagger their start and finish time. This can help reduce the bottleneck of staff in the break room and keep them at a further distance from one another.
A safety checklist is also necessary for business owners who have staff working from home. Employers need to check in on staff at home and identify whether they are in a hotspot, whether they are sick, and who they have been in contact with. Knowing which staff members have physically been in the workplace can help avoid a potential infection spread.
“Keeping a proper contact-tracing record of who enters and exits a workplace, be it staff or customers, is essential for our health workers so they know where an infection may have originated,” continued Ms Nguyen. “This has been one of the most important new tools we’ve seen implemented in Australia that has kept the numbers down compared to countries like the US or UK. In New South Wales it's now mandatory for businesses to use a QR code that links to the Service NSW app.
“In all circumstances, no matter the industry, having a plan on how to stop COVID-19 from entering the workplace, and how to contain it if it does, is of the upmost importance. Having the correct combination of hygiene control, record keeping and the most up to date health orders will keep workplaces safer, and employers need to remain vigilant,” she concluded.