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Plans, Masks, Records & Contact Tracing – What do Victorian Workplaces need to do from today?

By Catherine Dunlop

• 28 October 2020 • 3 min read
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Yesterday the Chief Health Officer issued the Workplace Directions (No 8) which apply to all Victorian Workplaces until 8 November 2020.

The key elements of the Directions are:

  • Employers must not permit a worker to work from their work premises if it is reasonably practicable for the worker to work from home. That means most employees who have been working from home during the Melbourne Stage 4 lockdown or in Regional Victoria must continue to do so.
  • Workers can’t work across multiple work sites, unless this is not reasonably practicable. If so the employer must have systems to limit exposure, i.e suitable rosters.
  • Face masks continue to be compulsory in shared workplaces unless an exception applies (i.e a person is working in a confined office, when eating or if medical reasons apply.)
Plans & Records
  • Employers continue to be required to have a COVIDSafe plan for each work premise.
  • Records must be kept for each person (worker or visitor) who attends a work premise for more than 15 minutes, including details of name, contact phone number, date and time and what areas of the premise they attended. In addition, we recommend that, in light of changes in medical guidelines internationally on the risk from casual contact and when practicable, employers keep records for all attendees, even if they attend for less than 15 minutes.
Risk assessments & Contact Tracing
  • Employers must notify DHHS, WorkSafe and all employees premises if a worker is a confirmed case.
  • Employers must consult with a worker who is a confirmed case about their close contacts at work (fellow workers and others) and then notify those close contacts about self-quarantining, and notify the Department of this.
  • Employers have specific responsibilities to direct a worker with a suspected case of Covid-19.
  • Employers have to complete risk assessments if there are 3 or more suspected cases, or a confirmed case and may be required to close premises and comply with DHHS directions if there is a confirmed case.
Space & Cleaning
  • Density quotients apply to shared spaces, publicly accessible spaces and indoor and outdoor spaces, and signage about the requirements must be displayed.
  • Stringent cleaning requirements remain in force.

We recommend that employers who have open work premises read the Directions in full to ensure compliance.

If you have any questions about compliance please contact Catherine Dunlop on 9258 3633 or any member of our Victorian Employment, Safety & People Team.

Download our summary of the Workplace Directions (No 8).

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