The original ACAPMA COVIDSafe Plan was provided to industry in May 2020.  Since then there have been significant developments, not only in the understanding of COVID-19, but in the standard controls and responses.  COVID-19 is here to and the fact that it is (or soon to be) endemic, means that older versions of COVIDSafe Plans should now be reviewed and replaced to reflect this changing situation and knowledge.  While ACAPMA provides a detailed list of Employment, Safety and Compliance Guides to Members in some circumstances the ACAPMA Board allows non-Members to access to a particular Guide.   In the face of the COVID-19 Pandemic the ACAPMA Board originally allowed access to not only the COVIDSafe Plan and Guide Pack, but also to the industry specific ACAPMA COVID-19 Awareness online training, and the COVID-19 Roundup information email and extends this courtesy to the whole industry as we transition from COVID Pandemic Health Emergency to COVID Endemic Workplace Risk.

 Given that COVID-19 is now and everyday risk workplace there is often a series of questions that businesses ask;

 Do I really still need a COVIDSafe Plan?

Yes.  It is a requirement under the Work Health and Safety laws that businesses identify the risks and hazards associated with the work undertaken at the workplace, and to, as far as is reasonably practicable, remove, control or mitigate those risks.

It is also a requirement under the law that staff are trained in the risks, hazards and controls that pertain to the work that they undertake.

COVID-19 is a ‘known risk’ within all Australian workplaces.  If there are staff and/or customers interacting with each other directly, or via surfaces, then there will be a risk of COVID-19 infection.

Having a COVIDSafe Plan in place in the business will allow the business to demonstrate that it has met its obligations to;

  • Understand the risks and hazards associated with work, and
  • Understand the best practice controls for the risks and hazards associated with work, and
  • Communicated to staff the risks, hazards and controls associated with work, and
  • Implemented appropriate controls for the risks and hazards associated with work, and
  • Constructed appropriate plans for responding to incidents of known infection risks associated with work.

The Work Health and Safety laws include a proactive duty of care, that is, even if there has not been an incident onsite, the business will still be called on to show that they have met these obligations.

Can I just integrate COVID-19 into my existing Safety Management System like any other risk?

Yes.  COVID-19 is a workplace risk like any other, and the business can integrate this risk into the existing comprehensive Safety Management Systems.  It is recommended however, that until the COVID-19 situation has stabilised and the endemic nature of COVID-19 has been in place for some time, that dedicated COVIDSafe Plans and focus be maintained.  The experience of the last 2 years has shown that change and evolution of the situation is a constant, and until that situation calms to stable it is suggested that COVID-19 be given its own focus and spotlight.

I need help with my COVIDSafe Plan, where do I go?

If you need help putting your COVIDSafe Plan together contact ACAPMA via employment@acapma.com.au

 More ACAPMA Guides

 ACAPMA Members can also gain free access other ACAPMA Guides 2021-2022, including;

  • Business Policies
  • Employee Code of Conduct
  • Engagement Documents
  • Employing Juniors
  • Visa Restricted Staff
  • Engaging Casuals
  • Performance Management
  • Annual Leave
  • Personal & Carers, Comp & Domestic Violence Leave
  • Long Service Leave
  • Modern Slavery
  • Annualised Salaries
  • Termination of Employment
  • Restructure and Redundancy
  • Transfer of Business
  • Retail – Wage Guide – VRSRA
  • Retail – Fuel Award Information Poster for Staff
  • Retail – Fuel Site Checklists
  • Retail – Position Descriptions
  • Transport – Wage Guide – RTDA
  • Transport – Individual Flexibility Agreements
  • Administration – Wage Guide – Clerks
  • Events at Work
  • Contractor Management
  • Emergency Response Plan (ERP)

For more on ACPAMA Membership, including benefits and how to apply see; https://acapma.com.au/membership/

 Here to Help

HR Highlights are things to consider, implement and watch out for in your business.  They are provided as general information for you to consider and do not constitute advice.  You should seek further advice on your situation by contacting your legal advisor.  ACAPMA members can access resources and receive advice, guidance and support from the ACAPMA employment professionals via employment@acapma.com.au , it is free for members.  ACAPMA Membership delivers this and more benefits, see; https://acapma.com.au/membership/  for more information.

Elisha Radwanowski BCom(HRM&IR)
ACAPMA

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