UPDATE ON COVID-19 WHS REQUIREMENTS HOME > UPDATE ON COVID-19 WHS REQUIREMENTS

Original Post Date : Thursday 2nd April 2020

UPDATE ON COVID-19 WHS REQUIREMENTS

 

WHSQ – USING PAPERLESS RECORDS

The Office of Industrial Relations (OIR) yesterday confirmed they do not require paper records. The WHS Act requires that Safe Work Method Statements (SWMS) are developed and details what they should include; but it does not state they need to be paper-based. Prestart records and toolbox talks are ways of ensuring workers understand the work they are about to carry out and that the necessary checks have been done on plant and equipment to ensure they are safe. OIR also confirmed there is no requirement for these to be paper-based.

OIR are aware that technology is prevalent in the workplace and on construction sites; and they encourage its use to assist in the delivery of tasks and documents that are safety related – reconfirming that there is no issue having safety related documentation on electronic devices. Examples of how technology can be used are below:

  1. Toolbox talks via video conferencing.
  2. SWMS can be emailed or provided through an app to a worker’s device.
  3. Safety Data Sheets can be provided through an app to the worker’s device.

In the event that sites are requiring workers to handle paper, sign documents or share pens; hand washing facilities must be provided so the worker can wash their hands immediately after contact.

SAFE WORK AUSTRALIA – MINIMISING YOUR RISK AND EXPOSURE

Following CCF National’s recent meeting with the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner, CCF was advised that Safe Work Australia has recently published new industry-specific advice on COVID-19 including a fact sheet on minimising risk and exposure in the building and construction industry.  The fact sheet can be downloaded here.

The fact sheet includes the following:

  • Managing the risk of exposure to COVID-19
  • Social distancing
  • Hygiene
  • Consultation and communication with workers
  • Further information and resources.

More generic information and advice from Safe Work Australia on managing workplaces and liaising with employees during COVID-19 is available at https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/covid-19-information-workplaces.

To provide feedback or for more information please contact CCF QLD on 1300 CCF QLD or email lweier@ccfqld.com.