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What a Vaccinated Workforce Means for Workplace Infection Control
As Australia and many other countries around the world progress through their COVID-19 vaccination programs, people are keen to understand what a vaccinated population will mean with regard to ongoing infection control behaviours required for the safety of the Australian community.
The widespread use of safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines will substantially decrease the risks associated with transmission of the virus. However, vaccinations form only one component of robust controls to keep workplaces and communities safe and healthy. It should also be noted that Australia’s vaccination program is voluntary.
Safe Work Australia has recently published guidance about work health and safety in the context of the ongoing roll out of COVID-19 vaccinations. While employers or Persons Conducting a Business or Undertaking (PCBUs) can inform their workers about the vaccine and encourage their workforce to get a COVID-19 vaccination as they become eligible, they also retain duties under the Model WHS Laws to continue to minimise the risks of COVID-19 exposure in the workplace.
Reasonably practicable COVID-19 control measures must continue to be implemented for Australian workplaces, including:
- Physical distancing
- Good hygiene
- Cleaning - both of high touch points and routine maintenance cleaning
In the context of building resilience and ensuring business continuity in the face of future potential epidemics or pandemics, it is also pertinent to consider the role that design of new and existing building environments plays in infection control. Embedding design features that for example, eliminate high touch points, ensure high quality ventilation, and dictate internal pedestrian traffic flows, can enhance and complement the effectiveness of operational infection control processes.
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Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Greencap has been working closely with clients across a range of industries to help them proactively manage their risk and maintain business continuity within a rapidly changing regulatory landscape. With an experienced team of infection control and health and safety professionals, risk management specialists, microbiologists, and Occupational Hygienists, Greencap can address clients’ needs in the management of risks and the human health impacts of COVID-19 in their workplace.
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