Preparing for a pandemic: a guide for employers

How employers can use occupational health and safety (OHS) practice to plan for a pandemic.
Last updated

May 2020

Reading level

medium

File type and size

PDF, 198.1 kB

Document length

16 pages

Restrictions apply across Victoria

Depending on your industry your workplace may:

  • be required to be closed for onsite work
  • remain open for onsite work with a completed COVIDSafe Plan in place
  • be subject to restricted operations or industry specific obligations.

These restrictions may be updated at any time. You must stay up to date with any changes for your industry.

How are my OHS obligations impacted by the restrictions?

There is no change to your obligations under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004 (OHS Act) and Occupational Health and Safety Regulations 2017 (OHS Regulations) as a result of the restrictions.

Preparation of a COVIDSafe Plan forms part of the development of a safe system of work. However having a COVIDSafe Plan and complying with directions issued by the Victorian Chief Health Officer does not necessarily mean you have complied with your duties under the OHS Act and OHS Regulations.

You must follow any health directions that apply to how your business must operate, and ensure that you are meeting your obligations under the OHS Act. Employees must also comply with their duties under the OHS Act.

What it contains

A pandemic is the worldwide spread of disease. This guide has been prepared for use by employers in the event that the Federal Department of Health's Chief Medical Officer declares that a pandemic is affecting Australia.

This document tells you:

  • what is a pandemic and its effects
  • good occupational health and safety (OHS) practice in pandemic planning
  • the community and workplace impact of a pandemic
  • employer and employee obligations for health and safety

At the end of the document are resources on proper hygiene practices and a list of sources for more information or advice.