Under work health and safety laws, employers are required to take care of the health, safety and welfare of workers. This includes staff, contractors and volunteers, as well as others (clients, customers, visitors) in the workplace.
Returning to the workplace
Every workplace will be different and it’s important to remain flexible. Working arrangements could include:
- returning to the work environment
- working remotely if required
- undertaking flexible start and finish times.
- if you are sick, don’t go to work
- if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, no matter how mild, get tested
- stay 1.5 metres from other people wherever and whenever possible.
SafeWork Australia has a range of industry-specific resources and tools to assist employees and employers.
Hygiene and cleaning
Employers must ensure there are adequate and accessible facilities (hand washing and hand sanitising) to allow for workers to practice good hand hygiene.
When determining what is adequate, consider entry and exit points, high touch points and traffic areas, the number of workers on site, the shift arrangements and when access to these facilities is required. It is also recommended that shared bathrooms are regularly cleaned during the day.
For information regarding Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) environmental management and cleaning guidance, refer to the following resources:
- The Australian Government Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information about routine environmental cleaning and disinfection in the community document
- Safe Work Australia – COVID-19 Cleaning Information for workplaces webpage
Personal protective equipment (PPE) advice
Information on personal protective equipment (PPE) for those who work in industries who may have close contact with community members as part of their role is available on our Infection Control and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Advice page.
Our PPE advice includes links and resources covering topics like:
- Appropriate PPE usage and infection control guidelines.
- Guidance on how to correctly put on and take off PPE.
- Guidelines for specific industry sectors.
- PPE and infection control training resources.
- PPE procurement and supply strategies.
Everyone, including workplaces, must implement physical distancing measures, wherever possible.
Businesses should do what they can to facilitate physical distancing, including making adjustments to the layout of the workplace and workflows to enable workers to keep at least 1.5 metres apart. It also helps to minimise the risk to staff.
Workplace health and wellbeing advice
The focus for workplaces has now shifted to returning to a ‘new normal’ of operations, but it would be unrealistic to think that workers will transition seamlessly into new or adjusted working conditions or return to “business as usual”.
People will need to adjust and adapt to the next rounds of change. They may have ongoing worries about job and financial security, as well as concerns about the mental or physical health of self and loved ones.
The following resources provide advice and guidance to help workplaces prioritise health and wellbeing and support their employees throughout the COVID-19 pandemic as the situation unfolds in South Australia.
For information on COVID-19 waste management refer to the SA Health Infection control and personal protective equipment (PPE) advice webpage.