WorkSafe continues despite Vic lockdown, issues non-compliance notices to hospitals

WorkSafe continues despite Vic lockdown, issues non-compliance notices to hospitals

WorkSafe Victoria is continuing to visit worksites across the state despite the metropolitan Melbourne lockdown, with more than 244 compliance checks undertaken since July.

Of those, five non-compliance notices relating to Covid-19 plans have been issued to hospitals. It would not speak to the location of the notices, saying it was a privacy issue.

WorkSafe issued notices for missing or inadequate personal protective equipment, failing to maintain social distancing, inadequate hygiene controls, not having procedures to deal with positive tests of workers and a lack of health screening.

WorkSafe has been monitoring personal protective equipment particularly, and in several cases, requested images of stocks of PPE to ensure staff were adequately protected. The data provided by SafeWork did not show which hospitals or health care facilities had inadequate supplies.

Since the start of the second lockdown in Melbourne, WorkSafe inspectors have issued 83 non-compliance notices across a range of industries. WorkSafe has not provided a breakdown of improvement notices versus prohibition notices, despite workplaces being a significant factor in the spread of the virus.

The data released showed that in addition to the notices issued to health care facilities, the regulator has focused on a range of high-risk industries, including construction, correctional facilities and food distribution centres, including meat processing facilities. While SafeWork regulates the safety and health of workers in the much-reported aged care sector, the federal Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission regulates providers.

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