Safe Work Australia has urged employers to access a free program that addresses the WHS risks associated with prolonged sitting and includes tools for those working at home for the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, Victorian police are targeting businesses that breach pandemic restrictions, with coronavirus cases soaring in the State.
COVID-19 work safety measures, like longer roster cycles and shutting onsite facilities where workers socialise, have amplified the already isolating experience of being a fly-in-fly-out worker and could have long-term mental health impacts, according to the head of a major Australian study.
Workers returning from COVID-19-related working-from-home set-ups have valuable insights on how to optimise workspaces for their wellbeing, which employers can capitalise on to make workplaces healthier and less stressful, a building and workplace design expert says.
As COVID-19 pandemic restrictions ease across the country, a WHS regulator has outlined its policies for enforcing physical distancing rules for lifts in work buildings, transport operators have been told to closely monitor workers' health and separate them from passengers, and the Australian Industry Group has warned against tough penalties for working-at-home breaches.
With the dramatic swing to working-from-home arrangements and new work technologies because of the COVID-19 pandemic, a Comcare "emerging evidence alert" has highlighted new research on the connection between technology acceptance, engagement and wellbeing.
> NSW's COVID-19 work recovery tool guided by 100 years of crises; > SA employers should expect COVID call from a WHS inspector; > Vic workers told to keep working at home; and > Start date for ACT's labour-hire licensing scheme confirmed.
A follow-up union survey has found that few employers are taking steps to support workers' mental health during the COVID-19 pandemic, or have consulted their workers on how they plan to respond if a staff member develops coronavirus symptoms or tests positive to the disease.
The new National Mental Health and Wellbeing Pandemic Response Plan has marked workplaces as key "outreach sites" for tackling COVID-19-related mental health issues, and identified a wide range of worker groups significantly impacted by the pandemic. Meanwhile, employers have been directed to develop COVID-19 safety plans as pandemic restrictions ease.