Safe Work Australia (SWA) has updated its national policy on enforcing WHS laws during the COVID-19 pandemic to define vaccinations as a “high order risk control measure.”
First issued in April last year, the statement of regulatory intent provides the principles for the regulatory approach that Work Health and Safety Regulators can take to ensure compliance during the pandemic.
SWA said the update ensures the Statement remains current and relevant.
“A COVID-19 vaccine is an additional control measure that employers should consult their workers about to reduce the risk of serious illness from COVID-19 in workplaces,” it says.
“All Australians who can be vaccinated against COVID-19 are encouraged to be vaccinated in accordance with the Australian Government’s COVID-19 vaccination plan.”
“WHS Regulators agree that employers should follow the public health advice in their jurisdictions in relation to COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccinations are considered a high order risk control measure; however, employers should continue to apply all reasonably practicable COVID-19 control measures.”
As in the original version, the Statement indicates that regulators will take a supportive and educative approach to compliance provided duty holders have made genuine attempts to comply with legislative requirements that are within their direct control or influence.
However, regulators will still use enforcement tools where actions or omissions have resulted in serious health and safety risks to workers or the community.
The Statement does not apply to the WHS regulators in the Australian Capital Territory and in Victoria.
myosh recently developed a module to track internal vaccine processes. The platform is fully adaptable to unique organisational requirements and can be configured to capture and facilitate the management of the following: contacts; vaccination dates/follow-ups; information on vaccination types/provider; consent/refusal grounds; automated reminders; dashboard reporting. Learn more here.
If you are wondering what the legal issues are for employers surrounding the COVID-19 vaccine rollout in Australia, watch a webinar here.
myosh Critical Risk Management
Webinar: Critical Control Management – A Configuration Case Study with Mitchell Services
This is a first-time introduction of new and novel technology that has a significant impact on operations. Find out what Smart Technology can bring.
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Adrian Manessis from myosh will then demonstrate how Smart Inspections™ and the Rules Engine are used to manage Critical Control Effectiveness, status and reporting.