BREAKING NEWS: The WA Government has announced that it will freely provide 5 RATS test all household in WA. You can secure these tests via this link.
In 2022, the spread of Covid-19 and especially the Omicron variant across the WA community is a significant risk to us all. Many workplaces in WA may not have a COVID Plan in place (let alone, have an updated plan specific to the Omicron variant). There is a lot that employers need to consider to keep workers safe, including conducting a specific risk assessment & plan for Covid-19.
- WA Employers must consider the following when planning for Covid - Alternative Work Arrangements (eg Working from Home), Physical Distancing at Work, Personal Protective Equipment (masks), Ventilation, and access to testing, and more.
- WA Employers must do what is ‘reasonably practicable’ – if you think your employer can and should do more, talk to your Union for advice.
- WA Employers must consult about risks - Elected Safety reps must be consulted.
- WA Safety Reps have the power to issue a Provisional Improvement Notice (PIN), which flags an issue as pressing to your employer. If your employer disagrees and seeks a review, our Safety Regulator, WorkSafe, becomes involved. Find out more about issuing PINs here.
- Seek out support from your union and also Worksafe WA if you have any unresolved safety issues.
- All WA Workers all have the right to cease unsafe work – this may be after discussions have failed around a health and safety matter and the risk is still present, or it may come up suddenly and present an imminent risk to you or others.
Considering all the above, has your workplace fully considered the greater risks of the Covid-19 Omicron variant, and conducted a specific Risk Assessment and plan? View or download UnionsWA's COVIDSAFE Kit here. Contact your Union for further advice on using this guide.
You can also refer to guidance from WorkSafe WA on Managing Covid-19 risks in the workplace - click here
More great resources:
1. ACTU Coronavirus Omicron Factsheet can be viewed and downloaded online here.
2. Your Rights at Work Coronavirus FAQ’s can be viewed online here.
3. Australian Federal Department of Health COVID-19 resources are available online here.
Of course, for medical and related matters it is important to rely on the advice of WA and Federal health Departments, or treating medical professionals. Social media can be an unreliable source for information. Unionists and other supporters can we and should continue to work together collectively to influence public policies. Online petitions and other asks of you are also included here.
Vaccinations: If you have a specific question about COVID-vaccinations or the WA Government vaccine mandates, please contact your Union directly.