Training Editorial – October Health & Safety Month
RISK CONTROL MONITOR
Managing the risk of COVID‐19: What does an inspector look for?
On Thursday 22nd October MGA TMA attended a 45-minute webinar highlighting the Worksafe Inspectors and CoVID19. Although this was delivered by Worksafe Victoria there are certain aspects that we can all learn from no matter what state you operate in. Below are some pointers that we came away with. The webinar will be available to review in November on the Victorian Worksafe website.
Worksafe Inspectors role is to ensure businesses are adhering to:
compliance with WHS/OHS
advice and guidance to business- by looking at eliminations and reducing risks/hazards in the workplace
How do Worksafe choose businesses to visit?
Strategic visits e.g. at the moment focus on high risk COVID industries- abattoirs
Worksafe Inspectors have their own processes to follow regarding CoVID as well as adhering to the business requirements as well.
Screening (including temp checks)
Encouraging meetings in the open
Plan what needs to be reviewed and communicate prior to visit
Practicing hygiene/sanitising and have their own PPE
What do the Inspectors review?
Not only do they review WHS/OHS documentation that is in place for traditional risks that each industry has but now the COVID safe plan
COVID Safe Plan
Is not the only answer to be managing C0VID- 9 risks. Please remember that the COVID Safe Plan needs to be reviewed and monitored regularly/updated with changes of business.
It also needs to incorporate all business aspects e.g. if you have salespeople on the road/suppliers visiting
The point about COVID Safe Plans is about reducing transmission risk
Each state has its own State Workplace Safety Acts to abide by as well as the overarching Federal law.
Businesses also need to adhere to their State Worksafe directives.
Businesses also need to also conduct their operations as per their state related Chief Medical Officers directives.
What businesses need to remember is the CHO directives cannot be adjusted at all- however the OHS/WHS and Worksafe directives is about tailoring to suit the industry/business to ensure employees safety at all times
Worksafe Vic stated in the webinar:
‘Some of the tools being used by businesses to reduce the risk of CoVID19 transmission were created through consultation with the employees and were excellent control methods’
They also stated;
“Overall industries ability of adapting has been encouraging but there are common areas of improvement.”
i/Record Keeping including;
Screening (temp checks)
Training- in particular using PPE (i.e. how to pop a mask on and off safely)
ii/Understanding and complying with their COVID plan
iii/Consistent Hygiene- personal and on premises – in particular, high traffic areas
iv/ Social distancing and maintaining the awareness (complacency)
Rosters, as they can support information (i.e. tracking movement, social distancing)
Risk assessment/ control implementation- and how often it is reviewed
What is close contact?
By understanding the terminology of close contact assists with CoVID 19 transmission reduction and planning
From the Australian Government Health Department close contact is ;
face-to-face contact in any setting with a confirmed or probable case, for 15 minutes or more. This is cumulative over the course of one week. It starts from 48 hours before the onset of symptoms in the confirmed or probable case.
sharing of a closed space with a confirmed or probable case for a prolonged period (e.g. more than 2 hours). This is in the period extending from 48 hours before onset of symptoms in the confirmed or probable case.