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Employers must notify WorkSafe of COVID-19 Cases

Occupational, Health & Safety (COVID-19 Incident Notification) Regulations 2020

Employers are now required to notify WorkSafe immediately when they become aware a worker has received a confirmed coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis and they have attended the workplace during the infectious period.

A worker includes an employee or an independent contractor or a contractor's employee working in your office or site.

Heavy penalties apply for non-compliance.

Employer in the strata industry, means both business owners of strata management firms, and other professional firms and trades that service the strata industry, as well as Owners Corporations.

We remind Members that:

  • an OC may be deemed an ‘employer’ under the provisions of the OHS Act where an Owners Corporation directly employs someone to assist carry out its functions and/or engages independent contractors and their employees e.g. a building manager, concierge, dedicated caretaker etc.

  • the common property may be a ‘workplace’ the moment the OC’s employee, independent contractor or their employee, steps on to it to undertake works.

  • the OC Manager and/or the OC, may be recognised as the person who has management or control of the workplace.

Commencing Tuesday 28 July 2020, these new Regulations, made under the Occupational Health and Safety Act, will assist WorkSafe to reduce the risks to health and safety in the workplace arising from coronavirus (COVID-19). These new Regulations will remain in place for 12 months.

Timely notification of potential workplace transmission of coronavirus (COVID 19) is critical for effective management of related health and safety risks and the prompt investigation of potential breaches of employer duties.

The infectious period begins on the date 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms or a confirmed diagnosis (whichever comes first), until the day on which the person receives a clearance from isolation from the Department of Health and Human Services.

Failing to notify WorkSafe under section 38 of the OHS Act can lead to fines of up to $39,652 (240 penalty units) for an individual or $198,264 (1200 penalty units) for a body corporate.

To notify WorkSafe of a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) diagnosis, employers or self-employed persons should call the WorkSafe advisory service on 13 23 60.


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