QLD Covid-19: Employers must ensure proper infection control

Published September 28, 2021 Author: Employsure
Brisbane Masks

With indoor mask wearing returning to the Brisbane and Moreton Bay local government areas as a result of several positive COVID-19 cases, employers must ensure staff and customers who enter their business abide by all health and safety measures to help stop the spread of infection.

Workplace relations advisor Employsure has seen a near 40% increase in health and safety related calls to its employer advice line over the past two months compared to the two prior, mostly driven by concerned employers stuck in lockdown in New South Wales and Victoria.

Now that cases have returned to the Sunshine State, business owners are urged to do what they can to ensure proper hygiene, or risk going down the same path as their southern neighbours.

“One of the most important aspects to running a business is the health and safety of your staff and your customers. Due to the ongoing threat COVID-19 poses, it’s imperative businesses have strict measures in place so people can interact in a safe and clean environment,” said Employsure health and safety manager Larry Drewsen.

“Employers in the Brisbane and Moreton Bay LGAs must follow the health advice and ensure masks are worn inside at all times, except where permitted, and people are correctly checking-in. Routine control measures would also include ensuring hand sanitiser is made available, and surfaces are regularly cleaned, with particular attention given to common touch point such as door handles.

“Employers must outline with their staff the policies and plans that are in place, and update them on any changes. Not only is this good hygiene in general, but if a large outbreak were to occur, employers and staff will have a better understanding of how the business can help stop a potential spread in its tracks.”

 

Identifying / Assessing Hazards:

An effective infection policy in the workplace should be designed to eliminate or minimise the risk of transmission. This includes regular environmental cleaning and disinfection, the use of personal protective equipment, physical distancing, and the regular use of soap and hand-sanitiser.

When a workplace is listed as an exposure site the source needs to be identified as soon as possible to reduce the risk of an infection spreading.

If an employee falls ill additional control measures need to be in place. This includes isolating the infected person until health authorities deem it safe for them to return to the workplace, identifying anyone they may have come in contact with, and disinfecting the areas they have been working in.

 

Responsibilities:

To ensure the overall success in controlling the risks related to infections at a workplace, both employers and employees need to follow the protocols that have been implemented.

It is vitally important for any small business owner that staff abide by the guidelines that have been put in place. Not only do staff need to be trained to follow the rules, but they also need to be deemed competent enough to know what to do if a breach, accidental or not, of the policy occurs.

If a business abides by the rules and is doing everything it can to stop the spread of disease, not only does it make that workplace safer, but it can make it easier to identify the source of someone who is infected, were they to pass it on to other people.

“There is no disputing that action is required to stop the spread of the virus, particularly given the highly contagious nature of the strain,” continued Mr Drewsen.

“To help restrictions ease as soon as possible, business owners need to ensure they meet their health and safety responsibilities, comply with their legal obligations, and follow government directions.”

 

 

Media Enquires:

Matthew Bridges

[email protected]

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