Is Your WHS Covid-19 Risk Register Up to Date?
Weekly WHS Article 30th June 2022
Easing and removing restrictions
Many of the restrictions that were in place for Covid-19 have recently been eased or removed by the NSW government with other states following suit.
The easing of restrictions began on February 18, 2022 when the NSW government announced that;
“… From 18 February 2022, QR check-ins will only be required for nightclubs, strip clubs, sex on premises venues and for music festivals with more than 1,000 people. Hospitals, aged and disability facilities may use their existing systems for recording visitors.”
Temperature checking was also removed. The Health and Safety Regulators of each state published their own statements accordingly. For example, WorkSafe VIC published the following on 21 February, 2022;
“Widespread temperature screening on entry to a workplace that is not a “high-risk” workplace or a sensitive setting is not routinely recommended. It is an additional measure employers or persons in management or control of a workplace may choose to implement in areas where there is a high level of community transmission, as a visual reminder to be vigilant for symptoms and to exclude those with a documented fever from a workplace.
Temperature screening may identify people who have an elevated temperature, which is one of the symptoms of COVID-19. However, temperature testing should not be used as a substitute for the most effective control measures outlined above.”
On 22 April the ABC reported the cancelled restrictions as well as the lifting of public health orders regarding Covid 19 vaccinations.
“Another change today is the lifting of public health orders that require key workforces to be vaccinated — instead, requirements will be based on risk assessments under occupational work health and safety.
Aged care and disability workers must still be vaccinated.
These changes will mean the critical worker exemptions from isolation rules will no longer be required.”
On the NSW government website you will find the following update;
“From 21 June 2022 international travellers are no longer required take a COVID-19 test upon arrival in NSW.”
“From 17 June 2022 you are no longer required to wear a mask in airports in NSW.”
“All people over the age of 12 must wear a mask while on an aircraft flying above NSW, in cruise terminals, on public transport and in high-risk settings.”
WHS Covid-19 Risk Register
Under Section 19 of the WHS Act 2011, it is the primary duty of all businesses and organizations to manage workplace risks and to give information, instruction, training and supervision to staff accordingly so they can perform their jobs safely. WHS risk registers are a vital documentation of the hazards and risks in your workplace, the likelihood and consequences of those risks, the actions that must be taken to minimise those risks, and the people who are responsible for carrying out those actions.
With the recent relaxation and cancellation of restrictions, and with more workers returning to the workplace, you may want to review your Covid-19 Risk Register to ensure that it covers the requirements stated in Clauses 32-38 of the WHS Regulation 2017.
If you would like advice and assistance to update your Covid-19 Risk Register, or any other risk register that you have you can contact Courtenell about our consulting services. If you are interested please contact one of our knowledgeable and friendly WHS consultants today.