As part of planning and preparedness we have applied our risk management principles: identifying and rating the likely risks associated with being open to general visitors and carrying out our programming face to face, as well as having staff and volunteers back onsite.
The control measures in place are detailed below and those specific to each directorate are outlined in Section 6.
- Return to the workplace for fully vaccinated staff and volunteers.
- Minimising physical contact in the workplace.
- Maintaining any applicable density quotient capacity limits.
- Providing for and supporting the use of telephone or video conferencing.
- Encouraging the use of outdoor locations for face-to-face meetings.
Transmission can be reduced by undertaking additional cleaning at the workplace and supporting good personal hygiene:
- We continue to provide information and resources to employees to reinforce and support good personal hygiene.
- Staff are provided with their own uniform—no uniform items are shared.
- Hot desking or sharing of equipment is minimised as much as possible.
- Cleaners are providing additional cleaning during the day and overnight. During operating hours, regular sanitisation of high use surfaces is completed, e.g. handrails, touchscreens, doorknobs and lift buttons.
- Hand sanitisation stations are provided for visitors supported by signage in bathrooms encouraging hand washing.
- Staff are provided with hand sanitisers in communal areas and regular hand washing is encouraged.
- Sneezing and coughing good practice is communicated and encouraged.
- Medical waste bins are in each main office for the safe disposal of used masks and gloves.
Personal protective equipment
The Victorian Public Sector Coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance note states that while employers are responsible for minimising risk to their teams by making available appropriate PPE such as gloves, masks and eye protection, the provision of PPE is to be based on the level of risk.
Facemasks will be worn as directed. A supply of PPE is kept onsite and additional PPE is provided to First Aiders.
Appointment of Pandemic Disease Manager(s)
WorkSafe recommends the appointment of a Pandemic Disease Manager. A pandemic disease manager (and backup managers) direct and monitor preparation, implementation and management of the implementation of risk control systems. Due to the complex nature of our workplace and the small number of staff, the executive team are fulfilling the role of pandemic disease manager.
Notwithstanding the nomination of the PDM, established lines of operational authority are unchanged. Managers continue to be responsible for managing the activities of their staff, including activities relating to the implementation and operation of this COVIDSafe Plan.
Control disease transmission in the workplace
Guidelines for restricting entry to the workplace of persons who may have been infected with a pandemic disease or who have a relatively high risk of contracting it:
- If Personnel have symptoms, they must get tested as required by the Victorian Government.
- Any member of Personnel who tests positive for COVID-19 is not to attend work. They are to notify their manager or director and either work from home or take Personal Leave or Special Leave (if eligible) and complete the mandated quarantine period.
- Any member of Personnel who is a household contact of a positive COVID-19 case must follow current advice on notifying the workplace, testing and use of masks.
On confirmation that a member of Personnel has tested positive for COVID-19 and been in the workplace during their infectious period (currently 48hours prior to development of symptoms). The Pandemic Disease Manager will follow all DHHS guidance. Additionally, the following specific actions will be taken:
The responsible manager will
- inform all staff that an infectious staff member attended the workplace and advise to test for COVID-19 if they are symptomatic. Note:the infectious staff member is now required to notify any persons they deem as contacts
Manage the situation when employees become ill at work
Employees who report or show symptoms while at work will:
- Be isolated from others and directed to get tested.
- Given a disposable surgical mask to wear as an interim measure before they leave the workplace. It is essential the mask is worn correctly and disposed of as soon as it becomes moist or after coughing or sneezing.
- Support the employee to leave the workplace to get tested and then go immediately home (not using public transport).
Ventilation and air conditioning
The Shrine has museum-grade air conditioning. Increased air exchange will be supported through opening internal doors where this does not disrupt the function of the AC system.
Manage the indirect risks arising from changes to usual work arrangements
- Anxiety among employees—The Shrine provides access to EAP services, clear and regular communication on the measures put in place and provides resources to support employees.
- Employees not being aware of current arrangements—Effective communication strategies will include: staff meetings and emails from the CEO, emails and calls and texts from directors and managers, regular briefings at work to those working onsite and newsletters for our volunteers. The Shrine intranet will include all current advice and information for staff on the home page.
- Unfamiliar work and workloads—As we respond to a dynamic and rapidly changing environment we have had to and will continue to make changes to how, when and where work is performed and by whom. Employees may have been, and may continue to be, required to undertake different duties for a period within their skill and classification level. Employees may need to be reassigned to priority tasks that are unfamiliar to them. These employees may be particularly susceptible to injury while adjusting to the new work, particularly psychological injury and body stressing injury (e.g., manual handling sprain / strain and occupational overuse injury). Control measures for these risks will include: consultation, training, clear performance expectations, close supervision and support. We are aware that some of our employees may have concerns and reservations about working with members of the public who may have been exposed to or infected with coronavirus. Consultation, communication and a supportive environment will be key to ensuring our team are comfortable and confident in their work.
Reviewed 11 May 2022