At 11.59pm 25/03/2020 the COVID-19 alert level 4 commenced.
This week WorkSafe has received enquiries from high hazard duty holders seeking guidance in identifying if their sites are “essential services”.
WorkSafe have released information on their website to assist you.
It is not WorkSafe’s role to determine if you are an essential or non-essential service. However, we understand in this evolving situation non-essential high hazard facilities will have certain workplace tasks to carry out during alert level 4.
All high hazard duty holders must have completed a comprehensive risk assessment to determine how each of their sites will be affected and managed. Duty holders must consider their site specific Management of Change processes to identify implementation of these changes.
It is important duty holders ensure assessment of minimum staffing levels for safety are observed. This also means ‘non-critical to maintain operations’ activities should cease. As duty holders you will be aware of the need to secure the integrity of plant. Please note this is not a time to cut corners by reducing manning levels to unacceptable levels and ignore essential maintenance that may affect plant integrity.
If a duty holder has time-based conditions (eg: improvement notices, promised safety project upgrades, safety case conditions etc) then the deadlines may be extended as appropriate. Risk assessments may need to be done for these if they are safety critical.
WorkSafe High Hazard, Extractives and Energy Safety teams will continue to regulate going forward. However we will not be conducting planned site inspections or investigations during this time. Please contact us as you normally would with your queries.
WorkSafe teams will be following the direction of Government by ensuring all communications are completed observing physical distances and COVID-19 alert level 4 restrictions.
Chief Inspector – Extractives
High Hazards, Energy and Public Safety