My workplace is not covered by a vaccine restriction on access direction. What should the Employer do to protect staff?
Currently, an estimated 81% of public sector employees are subject to a “Restriction on Access” Public Health Direction requiring them to be fully vaccinated in order to enter their workplace. Current Directions can be located here: https://www.wa.gov.au/government/document-collections/covid-19-coronavirus-mandatory-vaccination
95% of the WA population aged 12 and over have received two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine. Regardless, employees who work in the small percentage of public sector workplaces that do not currently have a vaccine restriction on access direction in place may have increased anxiety around their risk of exposure to COVID-19 in the workplace.
Your employer is required by law to assess occupational health and safety risks in your workplace - including any increased risk of COVID-19 exposure posed by contact with unvaccinated persons in the course of your work - and implement control measures as far as reasonably practicable.
These measures may include, but not be limited to, the following:
- Encouraging and facilitating access to staff vaccination
- Physical distancing measures (e.g. altered office layout, altered protocols for communal spaces, working from home, 50/50 staff on-site, protective screens).
- A ventilation strategy (which may include air purifiers and carbon dioxide monitors)
- Enhanced hygiene measures and cleaning services
- Enhanced mask-wearing requirements
If you have concerns that your employer is not discharging their duty of care for your health and safety in the workplace, you are encouraged to contact your CPSU/CSA Workplace Delegate and Occupational Health and Safety Representative in the first instance, who can assist you in escalating your complaint.