All workplaces need a plan on how to deal with COVID-19 (Coronavirus). Working with your employer to make sure that there are appropriate measures in place will decrease the number of infections and potentially save lives.
This checklist provides general guidance on how to manage and support workers through COVID-19 related issues. Every workplace is different – this checklist should not be used as a one-size-fits all approach to managing COVID-19 in the workplace. You should consult with your union about ways that your employer should be managing risks and supporting workers.
Pay and conditions
- Is there paid special leave available to all workers who are sick and/or need to self-isolate to ensure that workers feel supported to declare potential exposure?
- Is there a clear process for taking leave and applying for workers’ compensation which is easy to understand and readily available to all workers?
Management and plans to control risks and support the workplace
- Is there a plan in place in the event that the workplace is exposed to COVID-19?
- Does that plan include measures for isolating areas where person worked, deep cleaning, following up workers that were close contacts and notifying the Department of Health and local state H&S regulators?
- Is there an adequate procedure in place for workers to report if they’re feeling unwell, have been potentially exposed to COVID-19 or to update their employer on their condition if they’re unwell?
- What arrangements are being made to support social distancing and limit unnecessary contact with the workplace? For example, arranging for meetings to be held online instead of in person, holding tool box meetings in spaces to allow for physical distancing.
- Are there arrangements for free Influenza vaccines?
Workplace cleanliness and hygiene
- Is there enough information in the workplace about safe hygiene practices?
- Do workers have access to hand washing facilities and other products which support good hygiene, such as hand sanitizer? Hand sanitizers must be at least 60% alcohol. Soap and water are more effective.
- Is the workplace being cleaned regularly and sanitized to an appropriate standard?
Personal protective equipment (PPE) and first aid
- If required, have workers been provided with their own, individual personal protective equipment (PPE)? For example, disposable face masks?
- If PPE or tools need to be shared, are they regularly cleaned and disinfected to an appropriate standard? Alcohol based disinfectants must be at least 60% alcohol.
- Have first aid kits been restocked and have trainers been updated on infection?
Alternative arrangements (for example, working from home)
- Have workers who are working at home been provided with advice about how to make their working environment healthy and safe?
- Is there a plan to communicate with and keep workers updated while they are working from home?
- Has the employer consulted with union representatives, including HSRs and delegates, about their plan to manage and support workers?
- Is all information and updates related to COVID-19 in the workplace made available to all workers? For example, workers who speak different languages and workers with disabilities
- Have arrangements been made on how to communicate to workers if there is a suspected or confirmed case of COVID 19?
Remember, before having any discussions with your employer about managing COVID-19 in the workplace you should contact your union.