With the Tasmanian borders opening on 15 December 2021, there are a number of requirements for businesses, and we encourage you to be prepared.
Tasmania’s response to COVID-19 transitions from zero cases to living in a COVID-19 vaccinated community from 15 December 2021. This means you need to be prepared for a case or outbreak of COVID-19 occurring in your business and be ready to work closely with Public Health to act quickly to limit the spread of the virus within your workplace and into the wider community.
All businesses should have a COVID-19 Safety Plan that captures how your business or organisation complies with the minimum standards for managing the risks of COVID-19, to keep staff and other people within the setting safe. COVID-19 Safety Plans should be reviewed regularly, and particularly in the lead up to the opening of Tasmania’s borders.
An Outbreak Management Plan captures how your business will prepare for and respond to a confirmed case or cases of COVID-19 in your workplace or setting. Depending on your business, this may be contained in your COVID-19 Safety Plan or may be a stand-alone document.
Further information can be found on the Tasmanian Government’s COVID-19 Case and Outbreak Management page.
The Director of Public Health has also issued vaccination requirements in certain settings, including residential aged care facilities and medical or health facilities. This includes those who are entering these facilities as part of their employment or engagement by the facility. We encourage members to familiarise themselves with the details in the Public Health Act.
The Tasmanian Government’s COVID-19 Business and employees page contains a suite of information for business.
COVID-19 Safety Plan updates
COVID-19 Safety Plans should be reviewed regularly, and particularly in the lead up to the opening of Tasmania’s borders on 15 December 2021.
Visit the WorkSafe Tasmania website for templates and checklists to help develop and review your COVID-19 Safety Plan.
Conducting a COVID-19 risk assessment
Your Safety Plan captures the controls you will put in place to manage the risk of COVID-19.
Employers must undertake a COVID-19 risk assessment under the Work Health and Safety Act 2012 and Public Health Directions to identify and assess these risks and determine what controls will be suitable and effective to reduce them.
Visit the WorkSafe Tasmania website for guidance on how to conduct a COVID-19 risk assessment.
The TCCI has produced a video with information on how to conduct a COVID-19 risk assessment.
The minimum standards to be met in your COVID-19 Safety Plan are set by the Direction for COVID-19 Workplace Plans. These require all workplaces to:
- manage the risks of a person contracting or spreading COVID-19 in the workplace
- implement and maintain a cleaning schedule across the workplace
- have good hygiene procedures and practices (such as washing and/or sanitising of hands)
- ensure workers who have been instructed to quarantine or self-isolate don’t come to the workplace
- make sure physical distancing requirements are met by workers, contractors and others entering, leaving or moving around the workplace.
- provide information, training and supervision on how the risks of COVID-19 are to be managed and ensure all processes and procedures are applied by the workers.
- provide information and instruction to other people who attend the workplace about how they are to comply with your processes and procedures, and make sure they apply them
- all information, recommendations, directions and guidance materials relevant to the workplace (obtained from reputable sources) is reviewed regularly to ensure the control measures implemented are appropriate
- entry into the workplace is managed and controlled in a reasonable manner if someone is suspected of showing symptoms of COVID-19, or of being exposed to COVID-19 within the preceding 14 days, or being diagnosed with COVID-19
- any workplace records that would assist with notifying people who enter/leave the workplace of any potential exposure to COVID-19 must be kept for at least 28 days.
Employers must ensure that the above measures remove or reduce the risk posed by COVID-19 as far as is reasonably practicable and those measures are recorded in writing.
Signage and posters
Register for COVID Ready Stickers and Posters: Stickers and posters are available to promote the existence in your workplace of a COVID-19 Safety Plan. This is not a Government endorsement or accreditation of your plan but helps show workers and customers that measures are in place to protect their health and safety. You need to provide your ABN and declare that you understand your obligations and have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place in your workplace.
Contact tracing requirements
A range of Tasmanian businesses and organisations are required to comply with a Contact Tracing Direction and use Check in TAS to collect information about everyone who enters their premises.
Read more about the contact tracing.
When a WorkSafe Inspector visits, you must be able to demonstrate how you are complying with the minimum standards in your workplace. The Inspector will ask to see your COVID-19 Safety Plan. It shows how you have assessed the risks in your workplace and the control measures you have implemented. It is a simple, concise summary that the Inspector will work through with you while looking at the way your control measures are working in practice.