IN THIS EDITION:
Important Dates & Reminders
Hi everyone, hope you are staying warm and well. The westerlies have come in right on time even though the EKKA isn’t on!
As we are seeing in southern states, the COVID-19 situation isn’t going away any time soon, so it’s still so very important to keep the new normal standards of cleaning, hygiene and physical distancing high and reinforced. There have been plenty of reports of compliance action being taken against venues not having the correct (or any) controls in place. This is not the time to get complacent. If you have questions about any of the restrictions, requirements or controls, please reach out to me.
I’ve been undertaking more Safety and Compliance Audits lately which provides venues with an overall picture of their compliance status. The audits cover WHS, fire, food safety, AML/CTF, COVID Safe, smoking and liquor compliance. The report gives managers and boards assurance that standards are being maintained, or where priority actions are required. It’s a very valuable tool to manage your legal WHS and other compliance obligations.
Looking forward to seeing more of you in the coming weeks!
A reminder to report injures to WorkCover Qld if the injury may be payable through workers’ compensation.
All employers must report injuries sustained by workers for which workers’ compensation may be payable by their workers’ compensation insurer. Employers should report injuries as soon as possible, but no more than eight business days after becoming aware of the injury.
You must report injuries:
- regardless of whether the worker makes a claim for workers’ compensation
- even if you do not agree the injury is compensable
Please note, reporting the injury is not the same as making a claim for workers’ compensation.
WorkCover Qld Declaration of wages due by August 31 | SEE LINK HERE
If an employer meets a certain wage threshold (below), they need to appoint an RRTWC. I am currently undertaking the updated RRTWC course to renew my qualifications and can assist with workers compensation, return to work and rehab advice.
(Threshold: the wages of the employer in Queensland for the preceding financial year were more than 5,200 times QOTE.)
QOTE: QOTE is the original series of Queensland full-time adult’s ordinary time earnings as declared by the Australian Statistician.
A timely reminder of your WHS legal obligations and the consequences of not having robust and maintained safety systems in your workplace!
In June 2020, 2 directors from a Brisbane company (Brisbane Auto Recyclers) were convicted of Industrial manslaughter after a fatality in their workplace in May 2019. The company was fined $3million and the directors sentenced to 10 months imprisonment. They were found to be guilty of breaches of the WHS Act 2011 and engaging in reckless conduct.
Amongst the absolute failure to implement any safety in the workplace (staff were told to work safely), the directors also didn’t have workers’ compensation insurance and lied to 000, first responders and even the dead man’s family. Note that the incident was caught on CCTV.
The judge described the director’s behaviour as conscious disregard for safety.
How does this case relate to you? As a business owner or senior manager, you are a PCBU of the business (person conducting a business or undertaking). It is your legal obligations to ensure the health and safety of your workers.
Industrial manslaughter laws are now introduced in the majority of state jurisdictions throughout Australia.
Need help understanding your obligations? Call me.
Welcome back your customers safely & securely with an easy to use, touch free way to collect all visitors contact details. A free service sponsored by Local as QLD and ParkCollect, because we believe it is everyone’s right to be protected and also because #WeAreInThisTogether.
If you cannot immediately supply patron and staff details for contact tracing purposes, you can be hit with a $6,672 fine.
Full name, phone number, email address OR home address, date and time period of patronage.
56 days – dine in only.
(Check out the Local As Qld campaign! It is an initiative by the Chamber of Commerce collective showcasing Queensland for Queenslanders.
What happens if my venue is identified as being visited by someone with COVID-19 Implement a COVID Escalation Plan
(Please keep communicating to anyone coming into your venue (staff, visitor, contractor, patron) that if they are displaying symptoms of COVID-19, are in the process of being tested for COVID or are generally unwell, to stay home until they are better.)
- Isolate the person (provide PPE to the affected person and any other person required to assist the person, call 000 if the person is having difficulty breathing)
- Seek advice and assess the risks (talk to the person about your concerns, call the state helpline, find out where the person has been in the workplace and who they had close contact with, ensure you have current contact details)
- Transport (personal mode of transportation where possible)
- Clean and disinfect (see below link)
- Identify and tell close contacts (the person’s privacy must be maintained)
- Review risk management controls (in consultation with workers): are there any changes or additional control measures required? If so, update and inform your staff.
Qld Health recommendations on cleaning, disinfection and waste management
There is NO automatic requirement to close an entire workplace following a suspect or confirmed case of COVID-19. It may be unnecessary if the person has only visited parts of your workplace or if government health officials advise you the risk of others being exposed are low.
Whether you need to suspend operations in your workplace will depend on factors such as the size of the workplace, nature of work, number of people and suspected areas of contamination in your workplace.
When can workers return to work following recovery from COVID-19?
Workers who have been isolated after having tested positive for COVID-19 can return to work when they have fully recovered and have met the criteria for clearance from isolation.
The criteria may vary depending on circumstances of the workplace and states and territories may manage clearance from isolation differently. Clearance may be by the public health authority or the persons treating clinician.
Source: Safe Work Australia
COVID Safe Compliance Check:
- Do you have the latest version of the Statement of Compliance signed and displayed?
- Are you recording all dine in customers, contractors, visitors and staff on entry and exit to your premises? (Remember to keep patron’s details confidential from others.)
- Gaming rooms: restricted to 1 person per 4m2? Completed the checklist? (Page 32-33 of the COVID Safe Plan)
- Have you kept all staff up to date and informed of the latest COVID Safe requirements?
- Are your checklists completed, signed and readily available for inspection?
If an employee has had their hours reduced because of a JobKeeper enabling stand down direction, they need to be paid the greater of $1,500 (before tax) or their usual pay for work performed during the fortnight, including any payment for absence on a public holiday. This means that if the employee would normally have worked on the public holiday if the JobKeeper enabling stand down direction hadn’t been given, and would have been entitled to time off without loss of pay, this needs to be taken into account when calculating their usual pay for the fortnight.
The employee must be paid for their usual ordinary hours of work on the public holiday because a JobKeeper enabling stand down doesn’t apply when the employee is authorised to be absent from work.
FairWork have a page on resolving workplace issues during coronavirus, including disputes about the JobKeeper scheme.
FAQ: Can you ask a staff member to have a COVID test to prove they are negative before returning to work?
Answer: There are limited circumstances in which employers can request their employee/s to be tested for coronavirus before returning to work. However generally, you shouldn’t ask an employee to take a COVID test before returning to the workplace.
Important Dates / Reminders
Shout out to all the venues who acknowledged Jeans for Genes Day recently!
August is Tradies National Health Month
August 13 is Left Handers Day! Shout out to all the lefties out there!
August 28 is Daffodil Day (Cancer Council) – thank you to everyone raising money to beat this insidious disease
August 31-Sept 7 – National Stroke Week
September is International Prostate Cancer Awareness Month – did you know that this is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in men? Click here
September 7-11 is Women’s Health Week – don’t forget your check ups and regular tests even in a global pandemic – Click here
September 10 is R U OK? Day and World Suicide Prevention Day – Click here
September 12 is World First Aid Day (download the free iFirst Aid app by Survival Emergency Solutions, I highly recommend it >> Click here
September 26 if AFL Grand Final Day – but where will it be held???