Does your business need a COVID Safe Plan?
The COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic’s status is constantly changing across Australia. As the situation in Victoria continues to escalate, and the state moves into Stage 4 restrictions, and the clusters in New South Wales continuing to build, it is no doubt communities – residents and businesses in these states, and Queensland, remain on high alert.
Like any work health and safety risk, COVID-19 requires businesses to proactively mitigate the risk to workers and others and planning is the key to risk mitigation. We need to think about what can go wrong and put in place control strategies to reduce the risk as far as practicable. A COVIDSafe management plan is recommended by all states and territories and is mandated as compulsory in some states and territories.
What is a COVIDSafe management plan?
COVIDSafe management plans help to protect your staff, customers and visitors as you navigate the changing COVID-19 work environment. The type of plan will vary depending on the nature of your business, however all businesses should have undertaken some planning to ensure they keep their business, staff and customers safe.
Planning should be risk based, taking into consideration interactions that your staff have with others.
A COVIDSafe management plan will:
- Define the regulatory requirements within the area of operation
- Risk assess core business activities
- Identify key person protections
- Allocate roles and responsibilities for COVID management
- Include an implementation plan including specifications for physical distancing, hygiene, health, signage, occupancy levels and tracking
- Provide guidance for managing staff mental well-being.
Which businesses require a COVIDSafe management plan?
The type of plan and level of detail in a COVIDSafe management plan will vary depending on the nature of the business and industry.
All businesses in Australia have some level of requirement – either to have a formal COVID Safe Plan or COVID Safe Checklist in place, and/or restriction to the way they currently operate their business by limiting occupancy levels. These measures are required to ensure compliance to the various states and territories health directives. If you fall under any of these sectors it is likely that a COVIDSafe management plan is compulsory;
- Food and drink
- Beauty and personal care services
- Entertainment venues
- Leisure and recreation
- Residential facilities
- Outdoor recreation
- Non-residential institutions
- Professional sporting codes,
- High risk businesses, activities and undertakings
COVID Safe Plan – things to consider for your business
Having a plan prepared for your business will mean you’re ready to quickly adapt to the ever-changing operating environment. Some things to consider:
- what measures have you introduced into your business as a result of COVID-19?
- have you undertaken appropriate risk assessments and implemented control measures?
- what policies and procedures have been introduced, or changed as a result of COVID-19?
- how have you planned for ongoing changes to your business structure, operations, employee resources?
Plan. Prevent. Respond. Recover.
It’s important to ensure your business is well-prepared for both the short-term and longer term effects that have arisen as a result of COVID-19 and what this means for workplace health and safety, human resource management, and quality assurance policies, procedures and systems.
Find out more about establishing a COVID Safe Plan for your business.
Author: Masula Compliance – provides work health and safety, quality assurance, environmental and human resource management advice, implementation, integration and support; partnering with businesses to meet and manage their risk and compliance.
For more information visit masulacompliance.com.au