WorkSafe Victoria issues employer COVID-19 disclosure requirement

Workplaces mandated to notify watchdog of positive COVID-19 cases

WorkSafe Victoria issues employer COVID-19 disclosure requirement
Non-compliance with the regulation can cost dearly


WorkSafe Victoria reports new regulations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act mean employers must inform the safety watchdog of worker COVID-19 diagnoses.

Employers are required to notify WorkSafe immediately on becoming aware that an employee or an independent contractor or a contractor's employee has received a confirmed diagnosis and has attended the workplace during the infectious period.

Self-employed persons are also required to directly inform WorkSafe immediately on receiving a confirmed diagnosis if they have attended the workplace during the infectious period.

The new regulations "will assist WorkSafe to reduce the risks to health and safety in the workplace arising from coronavirus", it notes.

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"Timely notification of potential workplace transmission of coronavirus (COVID 19) is critical for effective management of related health and safety risks and the prompt investigation of potential breaches of employer duties.

"The infectious period begins on the date 14 days prior to the onset of symptoms or a confirmed diagnosis (whichever comes first), until the day on which the person receives a clearance from isolation from the Department of Health and Human Services."

The new regulations came into force on 28 July 2020 and will remain in place for 12 months.

Failing to notify WorkSafe under section 38 of the OHS Act can lead to fines of up to $39,652for an individual or $198,264 for a body corporate.

Employers or self-employed persons can contact WorkSafe via 13 23 60.


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