Information and advice on how businesses can reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) infections in the workplace.

Key points

  • There are practical actions you can take to keep your staff and customers safe by implementing hygiene and physical distancing measures
  • This page contains information on how best to clean and disinfect to reduce the risk of coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission.

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Slowing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19)

To slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), employers need to ensure the following measures in a workplace:

  • Have a COVIDSafe plan
  • Provide and promote hand sanitisers, including at building entrances.
  • Increase environmental cleaning, including between changes of staff.
  • Regularly clean with disinfectant high-touch surfaces (at least twice daily) - including desks, doors and door handles, keyboards and lifts, including lift buttons and handrails.
  • In a change room, provide adequate supplies so staff do not share items, such as towels and soap bars, and encourage staff to wash their hands after changing.
  • Open windows and adjust air conditioning to enhance airflow. Ensure the highest hygiene practices are in place among food handlers and canteen staff.
  • Purchase supplies to help limit infection, for example alcohol sanitisers and soap.

Face coverings

  • From 11:59pm on Sunday 2 August, face coverings must be worn by everyone in Victoria when they leave home unless a lawful exception applies.
  • Employers should ensure employees wear a face covering while at work, unless a lawful exception applies.
  • If you are driving on your own in a vehicle for work, you do not need to wear a face covering. When you leave your vehicle or need to interact with others, you should put on a face covering. If you are travelling with others outside your household, including passengers or other people from your work, you must wear a face covering.

For a list of the exemptions for not wearing a face covering visit the face coverings page.

Physical distancing

The following measures need to be used to promote physical distancing in a workplace:

  • Plan ways to enable physical distancing of at least 1.5 meters to reduce person-to-person contact for staff and clients.
  • Where possible, employees must work from home.
  • If it is not possible to work from home, employers should plan ways to enable physical distancing of at least 1.5 meters to reduce person-to-person contact for staff and clients, where reasonably practicable.
  • In an enclosed workspace there should be on average of no more than one person per four square meters of floor space.
  • If possible, designate specific doorways as entry-only and exit-only and aim to keep people walking in the same direction through the workplace.
  • Avoid indoor meetings and lunchrooms. Encourage online meetings.
  • Workplaces that have areas accessible to the public will also be subject to density quotient and signage requirements and those subject to Stay at Home restrictions will be subject to further specific restrictions. Visit Victoria's restriction levels for the most up to date restrictions in place in Victoria.
  • Provide a clearly visible sign for customers and staff stating how many people are allowed in your premise. For information on signs and signage templates see the Business Victoria website.

Cleaning and disinfection

Workplaces need to clean and disinfect surfaces - both steps are essential. The first step is cleaning, which means wiping dirt and germs off a surface. You can use common household detergent products for cleaning which are stocked at supermarkets. Cleaning alone does not kill germs.

The next step is to disinfect the surface. Disinfection means using chemicals to kill germs on surfaces. Again, supermarkets stock common household disinfection products – it is important to use products that are labelled “disinfectant” and to follow the instructions on the label.

High touch surfaces should be cleaned and disinfected regularly, at least twice daily. Read the Cleaning and disinfecting to reduce coronavirus (COVID-19) transmission factsheet (Word) for more information.

How to clean and disinfect after a coronavirus (COVID-19) case in the workplace

How to clean and disinfect after a COVID-19 case in non-healthcare settings: Information for cleaners, business owners, managers and individuals (Word) – the cleaning and disinfection principles outlined in the document can be applied to all settings including construction.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) guidance

The Procurement of personal protective equipment (PPE) for workplaces in the coronavirus (COVID-19) environment frequently asked questions (Word) provides guidance on best practice to slow the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the work environment for services outside of the health and aged care systems, including the appropriate use of personal protective equipment (also known as PPE).

The Appropriate use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for coronavirus (COVID-19) in the work environment frequently asked questions (Word) provides guidance on best practice for slowing the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) within the work environment for services outside of the health system (health and aged care services), including the process for procuring personal protective equipment (also known as PPE) where it is required. This document should be read in conjunction with the advice on the appropriate use of personal protective equipment.

Further useful information for workplaces

Resources

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