In force under the Occupational Health and Safety Act for 12 months from 28 July 2020, employers are required to notify WorkSafe Victoria immediately on becoming aware that an employee or an independent contractor or a contractor’s employee has received a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis and has attended the workplace during the infectious period.
Self-employed persons are also required to directly inform WorkSafe Victoria immediately on receiving a confirmed COVID-19 diagnosis if they have attended the workplace during the infectious period.
WorkSafe Victoria said 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 Victorian Department of Health and Human Services.
Failing to notify WorkSafe Victoria under section 38 of the OHS Act can lead to fines of up to $39,652 (240 penalty units) for an individual or $198,264 (1,200 penalty units) for a body corporate.
WorkSafe Victoria said the new regulation will assist them to reduce the risks to health and safety in the workplace arising from coronavirus.
“Timely notification of potential workplace transmission of the 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 authority said.
Victorian businesses can notify WorkSafe immediately by calling 13 23 60.