COVID-19 and Workplace Health & Safety

Information for your business around the current requirements due to the global pandemic:

Coronavirus

Safe Work Australia COVID-19 Resources
Please visit the following links for further information from Safe Work Australia relating to COVID-19 for businesses:
Do I need Workplace Health and Safety (WHS) during the COVID-19 lockdown?

Whether you do or don’t is dependent on a number of factors so please read carefully to understand where your obligations lie.

If an enterprise is paying WorkCover premiums then by default it must also meet the requirements of each state’s Health and Safety Act it operates in.

  1. Who is deemed a worker? A worker is classified as anyone an enterprise has directed to do a task, regardless as to whether they are being paid or not for doing it. A member of the public is NOT a worker, unless the enterprise, or a person authorised by the enterprise, directs that person to do a task to further or maintain the interests of the enterprise. At that point the member of the public is classified a worker.
  2. Our enterprise is no longer open to the public so do we need to worry about WHS? Although the public are not a part of your WHS obligations you will need to contact your WorkCover provider and explain your enterprise’s situation. If WorkCover agrees to freeze or stop your WorkCover payments then you can also freeze your WHS obligations.
    If your WorkCover provider will not freeze your payments after pleading your case then it’s because they have deemed one or more of your workers are still working (on your books). If this is the case then your enterprise is obligated to look after their health and safety.
  3. What if the government is paying the wages of our workers? Health and safety obligations is not tied to remuneration, it is tied to work as per item No.2.
  4. Our enterprise is much safer now that everyone is working from home. No, they’re not. Over 50% of all accidents happen in the home compared to around 8% in the workplace. Working from home is far more dangerous than at work.
  5. What if a worker is forced to self-isolate? As I write this the insurance industry is frantically rewriting the laws. As it stands, an enterprise is responsible for both the HEALTH and safety of its workers regardless of where they are working from. So yes, at the moment an enterprise could be responsible for a worker contracting COVID-19 at home.

It’s ironic that during one of the greatest health crises in the modern world businesses are forced to send their workers to the most unsafe environment in the world, home.

Working from Home App

If you have workers working from home you can continue involving them in your health and safety using our new working from home App. These workers are still under your legal guardianship for all health and safety matters and although these are strange times, adversity does not abrogate your responsibilities.

The working from home system can be run alongside your current Monit system or used in place of it until your circumstances change. These are tailored to each business’ circumstances so please call our office on 1300 65 1177.

Using the working from home system as a replacement for your current system, or in conjunction with your current Monit system will not alter the price of your subscription.

Online Toolbox Meetings

Toolbox Meetings make up around 40% of your health and safety activities and this is a great opportunity to maintain your WHS obligations during the current situation. You can conduct your own Online Toolbox Meetings in a manner that suits your workplace.

During this time, Monit also provides the option of booking one of our fully qualified workplace health and safety professionals to run your toolbox meetings via video conference.

How it Works

  • Meetings are conducted electronically via video conferencing, not in person. There is no limit to the number of workers present, and workers can be in multiple locations. Each worker must have access to a phone and computer.
  • Meetings will run for approximately 20 minutes (which should be enough time).
  • A member of your management must be present at each Toolbox Meeting.
  • More than one subject can be covered at the meeting. When you receive your monthly tasks put all your Toolbox Meeting subjects on one Toolbox Meeting Form.
  • You can choose a day and time that works for you.

Booking a Toolbox Meeting

  1. Go to www.monit.com.au
  2. Select Customers from the menu
  3. Select Online Toolbox Talk
  4. Click Book Now
  5. Choose a day and time that suits
Training for your Workers

Until now, Monit has only taught business owners, or someone directed by the owner in how to use the Monit App. However, the law says that no worker can be excluded from knowing about your health and safety system.

Our Monit trainers will now be available to teach any worker you nominate in the basics of how your Monit system works. This will give workers a better understanding and buy-in to your health and safety, as well as having backup personnel should the current person doing your Monit be unavailable.

 Booking a Training Session

  1. Go to www.monit.com.au
  2. Select Customers from the menu
  3. Select Book Training
  4. Click Book Now and select Monit App Overview
  5. Choose a day and time that suits.
News Articles

There have been several articles posted on our website about COVID-19 and how businesses can best adapt to the new working from home workplace. For more information you can read one of the articles Here.

Working from Home policy

There are many things to consider for both the business and the worker when a worker’s workplace is switched to one where they are working from home.

The link below is to a policy which will give you the complexities of a working from home environment as well as an understanding of everyone’s obligations.

Download the policy Here.

Additional Resources for Businesses

Please visit the following links for further information relating to COVID-19 for businesses:

Job Keeper payments for employers

Code of Conduct for commercial tenancies

ATO measures and support for businesses and employers

Financial support for Businesses

Other Business Support

Safe Work Australia work health and safety

If you are in need of additional Workplace signage or hand sanitizer solutions for your premises, Brady Distributor offers a range of products.
Call 0488 153 102:

Staff working from home?

Ensure you are meeting your WHS obligations with our Working from Home System. This new system provides WHS management for your remote employees.