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Is Your Office Return To Work Ready?

For those of us that are starting to or in fact have already started to return back to your normal working environments, it is extremely critical that your heighten awareness around hygiene remains firmly in place. After-all we are all ultimately responsible for our personal hygiene practices.

We have seen State Governments across Australia start to relax the regulations around Covid-19 restrictions, so it is critical that we plan appropriately for the physical return to work. It is now in your hands to ensure that your workplace has adequate hygiene measures in place, to protect and further minimise the spread of infections and Covid-19.  

Whilst each company and business will devise their own hygiene plan, it is crucial that you inform, educate and arm yourselves and company with the new normal will look like - adhering to mandatory rules and regulations stipulated by the Federal Government and incorporate some practical steps in to your work place spaces.

Below are some of the Workplace Rules and Regulations currently in place here in Australia:-Every business has a duty of care underpinned by State and Federal legislation. This means that all reasonable steps must be taken to protect the health and safety of everyone at the workplace, including:

  • Talk to your Team Members (Consultation). Your Team Members may be confused or concerned about the information they hear. Stay across authoritative sources and provide information to Team Members about the measures you are planning to take to minimise the risk of exposure to COVID-19 at the workplace.

  • Physical (Social) Distancing. The likelihood of interactions causing the spread of COVID-19 is low if physical distancing advice is followed. This involves:

- Keeping a distance of at least 1.5 meters between people

- One person for 4 square metres of space

- Face-to-face interactions limited to less than 15 minutes

- Close proximity interactions limited to 2 hours

To ensure you are implementing the correct physical distancing measures, please make use of the Safe Work Australia (SWA) Physical Distancing Checklist.

  • Provide Sanitisation and hygiene options. All staff, and visitors to your office, should have access throughout every touch point and have visible hand sanitisation, be it at Reception, Meeting rooms, Showrooms, Offices, Bathrooms and Break out areas.

 National COVID-19 safe workplace principles.  The National Cabinet has been working to develop principles around easing social distancing restrictions across Australia. They apply to businesses and workers and have been designed to prepare workplaces to resume normal operations.

The 10 principles include:

  1. All workers, regardless of their occupation or how they are engaged, have the right to a healthy and safe working environment.

  2. The Covid-19 pandemic requires a uniquely focused approach to work health and safety (WHS) as it applies to businesses, workers and others in the workplace.

  3. To keep our workplaces healthy and safe, businesses must, in consultation with workers and their representatives, assess the way they work to identify, understand and quantify risks and to implement and review control measures to address those risks.

  4. As Covid-19 restrictions are gradually relaxed, businesses, workers and other duty holders must work together to adapt and promote safe work practices, consistent with advice from health authorities, to ensure their workplaces are ready for the social distancing and exemplary hygiene measures that will be an important part of the transition.

  5. Businesses and workers must actively control against the transmission of Covid-19 while at work, consistent with the latest advice from the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC), including considering the application of a hierarchy of appropriate controls where relevant.

  6. Businesses and workers must prepare for the possibility that there will be cases of Covid-19 in the workplace and be ready to respond immediately, appropriately, effectively and efficiently, and consistent with advice from health authorities.

  7. Existing State and Territory jurisdiction of WHS compliance and enforcement remains critical. While acknowledging individual variations across WHS laws mean approaches in different parts of the country may vary, to ensure business and worker confidence, a commitment to a consistent national approach is key, including a commitment to communicating that constitutes best practice in prevention, mitigation and response to the risks presented by Covid-19.

  8. SWA, through its membership, will provide a central hub of WHS guidance and tools that Australian workplaces can use to successfully form the basis of their management of health and safety risks posed by Covid-19.

  9. States and Territories ultimately have the role of providing advice, education, compliance and enforcement of WHS and will leverage the use of the SWA central hub in fulfilling their statutory functions.

  10. The work of the National Covid-19 Coordination Commission will complement the work of SWA, jurisdictions and health authorities to support industries more broadly to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic appropriately, effectively and safely.

Sani-Station Options for your work place.

On top of the many mandatory rules and regulations, there are also a number of easy measures and practical steps to establish and adopt in your workplace, that will minimise the spread of infections and Covid-19. As a starting point, make use of the SWA Workplace Checklist which helps to identify how Employers can keep their Workers safe and limit the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace.

Here at Sani- Station we have all your Hand Hygiene Heath covered, from free standing entrance units, bathroom wall fixtures, counter top options and even some fun Sani-in-a-box for desk areas - all of which can be customised to your business or company branding.

We recommend you get in touch with our team of experts here at Sani-Station TM across our many global locations. They are here to help work through all the Sani- Station solutions or fixtures you might need throughout your Retail and Office spaces, providing the appropriate hand hygiene health advice and plan for your employees and visitors.

Practical steps include Handwashing and Hygiene, Signage and Posters (to download relevant posters click here), Cleaning, Identifying and responding to Covid-19 cases (to download symptoms fact sheet click here), Educate and inform your Employees and Review Company Policies and Procedures which could include these new standards.

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