As government restrictions ease and more people return to work, employers enter a new phase of operating in a world forever changed by Covid-19, whilst continuing to ensure both the safety of their employees and their operations. It is not all happening at once. Across Australia organisations are returning at different speeds, creating a dynamic environment for employers to manage their safety risks.
What are the rules for returning to work?
We know that considerable planning and ongoing vigilance will be required by businesses to protect their people and achieve compliance with work health and safety laws. It is likely that safety assessments will identify a range of controls that need to be in place and many employers may already be familiar with the need to implement a number of measures (hygiene, screening, physical distancing, masks, etc.) with no one measure likely to be sufficient on its own.
In this publication, we examine the new and evolving work health and safety issues that businesses must navigate, with a view to assisting them meet the challenges that are unfolding. These insights are informed by our experience to date and the experiences we have shared working with our clients. The issues we have seen are extensive but by no means exhaustive, and nor can they be.
The uncertainty that has characterised this crisis and the associated anxiety will remain for some period yet. New issues will evolve, and others will be specific to different workplaces. However, we are seeing a cooperative effort to meet the challenges of the new normal, with maintaining health and safety in the workplace as the common binding thread.
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