COVID-19 Action Plan

AFT is following advice directly from SafeWork NSW regarding our Covid-19 Action Plan.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice and guidance for NSW workplaces

This guide is to assist persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) comply with their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in relation to the management of the global COVD-19 pandemic.

Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that can cause respiratory illness in humans and animals. COVID-19 is a new coronavirus – others include Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) and Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS)

The following advice is provided to assist persons conducting a business or undertaking (PCBU) comply with their obligations under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 in relation to the management of the global COVID-19 pandemic. As the situation is evolving this advice is subject to change, PCBUs should monitor the Australian Government – Department of Health and NSW Health websites for the latest information in relation to the spread and clinical management of the disease.

Consistent with Australia’s strategic approach to emergency management this guidance aligns to the emergency management cycle of:

    • prevention and preparedness
    • response
      • initial action
      • targeted action

Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace for everyone in the workplace

Everyone should:
• cover their cough their nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with a tissue or a flexed elbow
• dispose of tissues immediately, and use alcohol-based hand sanitiser after disposing
• if unwell, avoid contact with others (shaking hands, touching faces, hugging, and other intimate contact).

Employers should:
• ensure an adequate supply of paper tissues is available throughout the workplace
• provide closed bins for hygienic disposal of used tissues
• actively promote good respiratory hygiene in prominent places where close customer or worker contact occurs, resources in relation to COVID-19 are available from NSW Health.

Workers must co-operate with their employer in implementing risk control measures and must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure they don’t do anything that creates or increases a risk to the health and safety of themselves or others.

Undertake WHS risk management regarding work activities/work design

Employers must, in consultation with workers and/or their HSRs:
• identify and assess the likely risks at the workplace and those associated with the way work is performed (eg: are workers/customers more than 1.5 metres away from each other; layout of workstations; design of work activities; etc)
• implement suitable control measures to eliminate or minimise risks, this may include encouraging social distancing through flexible working arrangements, reducing non-essential face to face meetings/gatherings and promoting the use of virtual communication channels (telephone/video)
• Expert advice may be required for high-risk work environments or tasks

The control measures being used must be regularly reviewed and updated as required:
• a good way to do this is to practice, test and evaluate intervention measures during this early stage, eg: practice social distancing measures and evaluate implementation

Workers must co-operate with their employer in implementing risk control measures and must take all reasonably practicable steps to ensure they don’t do anything that creates or increases a risk to the health and safety of themselves or others.

Make sure your work environment is kept clean

Systems should be in place to ensure:
• high touch surfaces (e.g. counters, desks and tables) and objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) are wiped with disinfectant regularly
• areas, where there is public access, will also require frequent additional cleaning and disinfection
• ensure infection control procedures are reviewed in consultation with cleaning staff and they have access to suitable personal protective equipment (PPE)
• adequate supplies of cleaning equipment and necessary PPE are available.

Ensure good communication re workplace controls

(with workers, contractors, customers and others)

Employers must provide information and instruction to workers and others:
• to stay at home if they are sick – even if the symptoms are mild, and
• that any unwell workers with compatible symptoms to those of COVID-19 be sent home immediately, and advised to call their General Practitioner, call Healthdirect on 1800 022 222 or visit their local Emergency Department
• to reinforce and support good personal hygiene, including good hand and respiratory hygiene. Display posters promoting regular hand washing, good respiratory   hygiene, symptoms to look out for and when to stay home (available from NSW Health or the World Health Organization (WHO)), and combine this   with other communication measures used in the workplace (e.g. regular briefings; information on the intranet; phone and email contacts for further information etc)
• to advise of any changes to work arrangements (e.g. staff working from home, revised customer service standards)
• this information must be shared with other businesses your workers may be in close contact with.