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How to keep employees safe as they return to the workplace

Enforcing health precautions is an essential step to creating a safe workplace and giving your employees peace of mind, especially during the current pandemic. Businesses looking to invite their employees back into the office after the easing of lockdown restrictions should implement safeguards to ensure their workplace is a safe one.

Conduct a COVID-19 risk assessment

Before opening your office to employees, conduct a COVID-19 risk assessment with Safe Work Australia. A risk assessment will include an evaluation from Safe Work Australia regarding your business’:

  • responsibilities and leadership,
  • worker engagement, alternative means of communication and participation levels,
  • COVID-19 hygiene principles (such as the 4 metre square requirement),
  • hierarchy of controls, and
  • employee health and safety plan.

The progression of additional business activities will also be assessed. For example, the safety of business trips when travel restrictions are lifted.

Implement cleaning processes

Invest in frequent cleaning services and processes to lower transmission risk and give your employees peace of mind. In addition to hiring a cleaning service, you can also keep your workplace safe by providing employees with disinfectant solutions for door handles, light switches and keyboards.

Other cleaning and hygiene processes to implement include:

  • Distributing hand-sanitizer
  • Reminding employees to wash their hands
  • Providing PPE wherever necessary
  • Minimising physical interaction between your employees (e.g. using disposable condiments, laminating documents for easy cleaning)

Support your employees’ mental health

Supporting your employees’ mental health is just as important as their physical health. To create an environment that your employees feel comfortable and safe to work in, provide aid in the form of workplace flexibility, therapy and counselling services, home-to-business transportation options and financial advice. Additional services such as child-care can also be helpful to supporting your employees’ mental health.


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