DYS Issue 72 - Mar 2021
New SafeWork Service Standards for Handling Workplace Incidents
SafeWork NSW has released a new service standard for handling workplace incidents in order to improve transparency and communication with impacted parties. The Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson said;
“The service standard provides clarity around the progress and status of investigations, so that victims, families and colleagues aren’t kept in the dark.
“This document also clearly outlines each stage of the investigation and formalises the regular, pro-active communication you can expect to receive from SafeWork.”
(See media statement at
https://www.nsw.gov.au/media-releases/new-standard-for-safework-investigations and download pdf of service standard from SafeWork website here:
Can Employers make the COVID-19 Vaccination Mandatory for Staff?
The above heading is the title of an excellent article written by Diana Diaz at Madgwicks, Lawyers. You can read the full article HERE. Well worth reading and the guidance includes;
“..there is no ‘one size fits all’ answer”,
“in most cases the answer will be ‘no.’”
“employers can only issue a direction to employees if the direction is lawful and reasonable – and that is something which must be assessed on a case-by-case basis”.
“There are currently no state or territory public health orders requiring COVID-19 vaccinations, and nothing in workplace health and safety (WHS) law requires that employers mandate vaccination”
Safe Work Australia: Recent COVID-19 Vaccine Information for Workplaces
Safe Work Australia published new guidance about WHS and Covid-19 vaccines on the 19/2/21. It provides clear information about rights and obligations under the model WHS laws, how they relate to COVID-19 vaccines and what employers should do about it. It is available for employers, small business and workers in 37 different industries and is accessible via the a drop-down box on the SWA site at this link
Safe Work factsheet: Improving Ventilation in Indoor Workplaces: COVID 19
Safe Work Australia has produced a fact sheet on improving ventilation in indoor workplaces, especially in relation to possible exposure to the COVID-19 virus.
Safe Work says that; “Ensuring heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems are well-maintained and operating properly is important for indoor workplaces to manage the risk of COVID-19 transmission. This includes any risks associated with the HVAC system being restarted after a period of shutdown.”
The fact sheet is available on Safe Work’s website at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/sites/default/files/2021-02/210224%20COVID-19%20Indoor%20Ventilation%20Factsheet_24_feb.pdf
The next three articles are our recent WHS articles that you may have missed reading – the title of each article is a live link to our website.
Your Safety Matters 149 - Successful Health & Safety Committee Meetings
It is important that successful results are achieved when your Health & Safety Committee has a meeting. That seemed like a good topic for our publication, Your Safety Matters Issue 149, March/April 2021. So, we wrote a brief article and named it, Successful Health & Safety Committee Meetings.
How to Avoid Having to Pay an Increased WHS Penalty
Our recent WHS article How to Avoid Having to Pay an Increased WHS Penalty, covers two important factors that you should have firmly in place in your workplace. They will help you to avoid being in position where you are required to pay a WHS penalty. The two factors are risk management and management commitment.
Would You Like More Benefits from WHS Consultation in your Workplace?
Are you obtaining all the expected benefits from the consultation process in your workplace? Our WHS article Would You Like More Benefits From WHS Consultation in Your Workplace, explains what those benefits are and lists them in a checklist format so that you could identify one or more areas in your workplace where the expected benefits of consultation are not yet apparent.
This publication provides general information about WHS. It is not a legal opinion and does not represent a comprehensive statement of the law to be applied to a particular problem.
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