The Government has a plan to ‘Rebuild a Stronger Tasmania’. As part of this plan, all workplaces will be required to have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that complies with minimum COVID-19 safety standards. The Direction for COVID-19 Workplace Plans sets the minimum standards for workplaces to be COVID Safe. Your Safety Plan is a great way to show how you are keeping your customers, your workers and your community safe.
Workplaces will need to demonstrate their compliance with the Minimum Standards. Templates are available below to support small and medium-sized businesses to assist in the development of COVID-19 Safety Plans based on sector-specific guidelines. Developing a COVID-19 Safety Plan is the best way to demonstrate compliance with the Minimum Standards.
As workplaces reopen, they will need to demonstrate their compliance with the Minimum Standards. When a WorkSafe Inspector visits, you must be able to demonstrate how you are complying with the minimum standards in your workplace. The Inspector will ask to see your COVID-19 Safety Plan. It shows how you have assessed the risks in your workplace and the control measures you have implemented. It is a simple, concise summary that the Inspector will work through with you while looking at the way your control measures are working in practice.
Business are encouraged to register for COVID Ready window stickers and posters once their COVID-19 Safety Plan is developed and in place. This sticker or poster will provide the Tasmanian community with confidence that your workplace is best prepared to manage and respond to COVID-19.
COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework
The COVID-19 Safe Workplaces Framework supports businesses and workplaces in Tasmania to continue to operate, or reopen, while protecting Tasmania's health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Framework is made up of three key parts:
- Minimum Standards to manage the ongoing risk of COVID-19 in workplaces.
- COVID-19 Safe Workplace Guidelines to provide more detail on how sectors and workplaces can meet the Minimum Standards.
- COVID-19 Safety Plans to outline how each workplace complies with the Minimum Standards.
Minimum Standards for managing the risks of COVID-19 in all workplaces have been developed in consultation with WorkSafe Tasmania and Public Health and are in place as of Monday 15 June 2020. The Direction remains in force while the Public Health Emergency remains in place, unless revoked earlier.
The Minimum Standards require all workplaces to:
- manage the risks of a person contracting or spreading COVID-19 in the workplace
- implement and maintain a cleaning schedule across the workplace
- have good hygiene procedures and practices (such as washing and/or sanitising of hands)
- ensure workers who have been instructed to quarantine or self-isolate don’t come to the workplace
- make sure physical distancing requirements are met by workers, contractors and others entering, leaving or moving around the workplace.
- provide information, training and supervision on how the risks of COVID-19 are to be managed and ensure all processes and procedures are applied by the workers.
- provide information and instruction to other people who attend the workplace about how they are to comply with your processes and procedures, and make sure they apply them
- all information, recommendations, directions and guidance materials relevant to the workplace (obtained from reputable sources) is reviewed regularly to ensure the control measures implemented are appropriate
- entry into the workplace is managed and controlled in a reasonable manner if someone is suspected of showing symptoms of COVID-19, or of being exposed to COVID-19 within the preceding 14 days, or being diagnosed with COVID-19
- any workplace records that would assist with notifying people who enter/leave the workplace of any potential exposure to COVID-19 must be kept for at least 28 days.
Employers must ensure that the above measures remove or reduce the risk posed by COVID-19 as far as is reasonably practicable and those measures are recorded in writing.
COVID-19 Safe Workplace Guidelines
We understand that one size doesn’t fit all. Safe Workplace Guidelines are being developed through consultation with industry sectors as a practical guide on how your workplace can meet the Minimum Standards.
WorkSafe Tasmania has a list of completed Sector Guidelines and targeted complete dates for the remaining sectors. Guidelines can also be downloaded from www.worksafe.tas.gov.au once available.
COVID-19 Safety Plans
Your COVID-19 Safety Plan will depend on the size and nature of your workplace. The person controlling the workplace has the duty to manage the risks in the workplace. They should decide how best to developed a COVID-19 Safety Plan. See the Common work health and safety terms.
Workplace toolbox and resources
Checklists and templates are available to help you develop your workplace COVID-19 Safety Plans. These will provide businesses and workplaces already operating, or those preparing to reopen when safe, a chance to review existing practices and prepare themselves for when restrictions are relaxed.
- Checklist – how to keep your workers safe and limit the spread of COVID-19 and to help you to start thinking about measures to include in your COVID-19 Safety Plan.
- Safe Workplace Guidelines – practical guides on how your business can meet the Minimum Standards will be available from www.worksafe.tas.gov.au as they are developed.
- COVID-19 Safety Plan Template for Small Businesses – a practical step-by-step guide to completing a COVID-19 Safety Plan.
- COVID-19 Safety Plan Template for Medium-Sized Businesses – This template provides a broader framework for developing COVID-19 Safety Plans and can be used by any workplace that wants greater flexibility in the process of drafting the COVID-19 Safety-Plan. Businesses that are already working to an industry standard for managing COVID-19 may find it easier to use the template for Medium-Sized Businesses. Large enterprises may already have well developed COVID-19 Plans in place for a range of workplaces. Existing plans need to be reviewed to ensure that meet the Minimum Standards.
- Hospitality premises, including restaurants, cafes and other retail food businesses where food is sold for consumption on-site, as well as businesses that serve alcohol for consumption on-site, must continue to collect contact details for people who enter and remain on the premises for at least 15 minutes
- From 1 December 2020, events enabled under the Events Framework that are required to have an event COVID Safety Plan must collect information of patrons
- From 15 December 2020, an expanded list of premises and businesses must collect information of people who enter and remain on the premises for at least 15 minutes.
The second Contact Tracing Direction requires that:
For guidance on how to meet contact tracing obligations and digital options, including the Check In Tas app visit www.business.tas.gov.au/coronavirus_information/contact_tracing
- How to make a COVID-19 Safety Plan - An online session from Business Tasmania to help you navigate the process of developing your COVID-19 Safety Plan.
- COVID Ready Stickers and Posters – Stickers and Posters are available to promote the existence in your workplace of a COVID-19 Safety Plan. This is not a Government endorsement or accreditation of your plan. It does, however, help workplaces to communicate with workers and customers that measures are in place to increase their health and safety during the COVID-19 pandemic. You will need to provide your ABN and declare that you understand your obligations and have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place in your workplace. Register for COVID Ready Stickers and Posters here.
- Signage and Posters – instructional posters for the workplace, and signage from Safe Australia.
- Fact sheet - An overview of COVID-19 Safety Plans.