New temporary Victorian OHS COVID-19 Incident Notification Regulations
WorkSafe Victoria has introduced new OHS COVID-19 Regulations effective 28 July 2020. These extend the operation of Part 5 of the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) to require duty holders to notify WorkSafe if:
- an employer becomes aware that an employee or independent contractor engaged by the employer, and any employees of the independent contractor, has received a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19, and has attended the workplace within the infectious period (being 14 days prior to receiving the confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and until clearance from isolation has been received); or
- a self-employed person has received a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and has attended the workplace within the infectious period (being 14 days prior to receiving the confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and until clearance from isolation has been received).
Penalties apply for failing to notify WorkSafe under section 38 of the OHS Act – up to $39,652 (240 penalty units) for an individual or $198,264 (1200 penalty units) for a body corporate.
The OHS COVID-19 Regulations are temporary and will expire in 12 months pending review. Further information and instructions are available on the WorkSafe website.
NDS is aware that many service providers are currently reviewing their preparations for possible COVID-19 incidents, and we are working closely with DHHS and other authorities to ensure providers receive clear, curated advice to assist their planning, including identification of all required reporting responsibilities.