Previously employers were not required to notify Worksafe Victoria of an infectious disease in the workplace, unless immediate inpatient treatment is required or the disease is the cause (or suspected cause of a death.
In this state of emergency, timely notification of potential workplace transmission of COVID-19 is critical for efficient and effective management of related health and safety risks, and the prompt investigation of potential breaches of employer duties.
The OHS COVID-19 regulations will extend the operation of Part 5 of the Occupational Health & Safety Act 2004 (OHSAct) to require duty holders to notify WorkSafe if;
- an employer become 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 (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 (14 days prior to receiving the confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 and until clearance from isolation has been received).
A penalty will 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.
These OHS COVID-19 Regulations are only temporary in nature and will expire 12 months after their making. WorkSafe will review the OHS COVID-19 Regulations during the 12-month period of operation.
For information on how to report a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis please see click hereReport a COVID case