By Michael Selinger
The Federal Government has released a guide to re-opening business operations, My Business’s COVIDSafe Plan (Plan).
The Plan is a detailed online toolkit designed to help businesses prepare for the different stages of the pandemic, and it aligns with the National COVID‑19 Safe Work Principles.
While there is a significant focus on ensuring your workplace is safe, the Plan also includes strategies for adapting your business to the new environment, including providing an outline of resources available to support the transition.
Safe Work Australia’s checklists (mentioned in last week’s bulletin), which are critical to implementing a safe return to work, are referenced in the Plan as the first steps to take when implementing best practice hygiene, cleaning and physical distancing.
Importantly, you then need to work through outstanding items by completing each section and identifying safety steps, such as:
- what you need to do;
- how you will do this;
- when it will happen; and
- what supplies you will need.
The Plan recognises that the implemented physical changes and systems at your workplace may have an impact on how you actually can run your business. The Plan prompts you to consider issues such as:
- whether physical and social distancing requirements change the way your business engages with customers;
- whether you are able to change the physical setup/delivery of your service so it is safe for everyone;
- what elements of your business model may be difficult to maintain in this new environment;
- whether you can minimise these difficulties (e.g. by moving online);
- whether your business can temporarily change or expand the range of goods and services it offers; and
- where there may be opportunities to expand or change an element of your business to respond to an opportunity in the current environment.