Virus challenges carry into the New Year

During the recent summer holidays, many people across Australia enjoyed living under lightened restrictions after a tumultuous year. That said, this time brought more than just good news – the challenges of COVID-19 are not over just yet.

At a time when much of the country have travel plans, the New Year proved to be an exercise in dodging border closures and virus hotspots. The situation can get out of hand all too quickly, even after just one case is identified. 

Functioning in such a volatile and albeit unpredictable environment cannot only prove challenging for holidaymakers, but also the businesses at which they are employed. Workplaces need to closely monitor the ever-changing situation, even more so as employees continue their assimilation back into offices.

While risks may seem low, employers need to remain diligent, taking proactive measures to keep their staff and customers safe as the pandemic ensues.

The rollout of vaccines is now in full swing with groups at the greatest risk being at the head of the queue. While vaccines are giving individuals across the globe a sigh of relief, even after having it administered, people are urged to continue taking suitable precautions.

Steps to avoid becoming complacent

Shortly after welcoming in the New Year, the Queensland Government locked down an area of Brisbane, as a highly contagious strain of COVID-19 was detected. It was found to have originated from an overseas arrival quarantine hotel, and its detection led many states to swiftly shut their borders.

In the workplace, it is important employers and employees alike avoid becoming complacent as the pandemic continues to pose a risk in the months ahead. In particular, workers’ compensation authorities have again stressed the need to keep work environments safe and clean.

There are simple yet effective changes businesses can make, such as facilitating social distancing by restricting the number of people in offices at one time and reducing potential congestion in areas like lunchrooms. 

Supporting good hygiene practices, such as through making disinfection supplies readily available to staff in the office, is also essential. Make sure to check in with employees and their well being as well amid the ongoing challenges.

State laws may require registers of every person who attends a workplace, including employees, clients and visitors, while firms should be aware of their responsibilities if a staff member contracts the virus.

Now is the time to consider both how your business will manage any virus-associated disruptions and how your insurance can support you during this.

For more information, or if this article has brought up any queries, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us on 03 9809 1532.


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