New COVID-19 Winter Guide for employers

Make sure you continue to manage COVID-19 in your workplace through winter and into the second half of the year with the newly released COVID Winter Guide.

Produced by the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry in conjunction with CCIWA, the Guide provides practical advice and assistance to employers. Initially, it recaps the current state of the public health response in the initial few chapters, and it then moves into workplace-specific matters such as supporting someone with long COVID in the workplace and updating risk assessments and WHS controls.

DOWNLOAD THE COVID WINTER GUIDE

Example chapters in the Guide include:

  • Vaccines and booster status
  • Influenza (flu) vaccine advice
  • Long COVID and managing ongoing health effects
  • Workplace COVID Response — Actions for businesses
  • Managing COVID-19 positive cases, close contacts and workers with symptoms
  • WHS — Updating your risk assessments and controls
  • Control measures — stay at home, ventilation, physical distancing, cleaning and hygiene, masks and PPE, vaccination

CCIWA Principal Employee Relations Consultant Paul Moss said that even though Public Health Orders are easing, employers have ongoing WHS duties in regards to managing COVID-19 risks.

“This is really a reminder that businesses should be doing regular risk assessments and updating their COVID Safe plans, particularly as we head into winter or new variants emerge,” Moss said.

“Last week, COVID infections began rising once again in many jurisdictions. Variants and fatalities are also on the rise, and the newest Omicron variants — BA.4 and BA.5 — are increasing across the eastern states.

“Reinfection rates are increasing and greater attention is beginning to be paid to long COVID issues. Further evidence is emerging about reinfection risks including greater emphasis on the fact that each time an individual gets COVID-19 there is a risk of getting seriously ill and developing long COVID symptoms.”

See also: Managing the flu season

There are six key control measures all workplaces should be considering:

  • encouraging vaccination where applicable;
  • workers do not come to work when unwell;
  • ensuring physical distancing in the workplace;
  • improving ventilation where appropriate;
  • practising good hygiene and regular cleaning;
  • wearing masks as appropriate.

If you have any questions on managing COVID-19 in your workplace, contact CCIWA’s Employee Relations Advice Centre on (08) 9365 7660 or email advice@cciwa.com

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