Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Please check this page regularly for updates

Regulatory advice

Public Health Services (external link) is the lead Tasmanian Government Agency for the Tasmanian response to Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19).

All businesses should be monitoring advice from Public Health Services on the current status and advice on what to do to prevent exposure, when to seek medical treatment, and when and how testing should be conducted.

WorkSafe Tasmania will not provide specific information on the spread or containment of COVID-19, as the most up-to-date authoritative advice will be provided by Public Health Services (external link).

Employer's responsibilities

Employers must ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of workers and other persons.

Employers and businesses may also have other obligations under laws administered by WorkSafe Tasmania. Some businesses have contacted us to ask what will the regulator do if a business is unable to meet these obligations as a direct result of COVID-19. Our current advice is:

  • keep up to date with Public Health Services (external link) advice on controls to prevent the spread of COVID-19, including any restrictions on normal business activities, and respond accordingly
  • if there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 in your place of business, you should seek advice from Public Health Services (external link)
  • if Public Health Services becomes aware of a positive diagnosis, it has procedures in place to track the movements of the person and will provide advice on what action should be taken
  • current legislative requirements remain in force; however, if you are unable to meet your regulatory obligations because of COVID-19 then we will take a reasonable and proportionate response.

Changes to how you work, and controlling risk

If you need to make changes to your usual working hours/days or systems of work, you must do a risk assessment and control any risks you find. Issues you may need to consider include fatigue, work breaks, your workers' training/skill levels, and providing information, training and supervision to insure your workers' safety.

See our guidance on:

Incident notification for COVID-19

Employers must notify WorkSafe Tasmania where there is a death of a person due to COVID-19 or a person contracts COVID-19 and the death or acquisition arises out of the conduct of the business or undertaking, and the illness requires immediate treatment as an inpatient in a hospital or it is confirmed that work is a significant contributing factor.

Notification is made calling WorkSafe Tasmania on 1300 366 322, by submitting WorkSafe Tasmania’s incident notification form, or on an employer's normal incident notification template that meets the standard of WorkSafe Tasmania.

Notification is required regardless of whether the Department of Health/Public Health Services is already aware of the case.

Coronavirus.tas.gov.au

Please check these links regularly for updates

The Tasmanian Government has launched a dedicated COVID-19 website at coronavirus.tas.gov.au (external link).

You will find here information about government service closures (external link) that may affect you and government stimulus packages

You will also find a page where you can report information/concerns about non-compliance with isolation/gathering requirements.

Health resources

Please check these links regularly for updates

Public Health Hotline: 1800 671 738

Novel coronavirus: Department of Health Tasmania (external link) This website has many fact sheets and posters you can download and display/share with your colleagues, family and family about face masks, handwashing and hygiene, home isolation, self assessment, schools, public transport, and more.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) health alert: Australian Government Department of Health (external link)

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Health Direct (external link)

Workplace safety resources

Please check these links regularly for updates

Coronavirus: Comcare (external link)

Coronavirus (COVID 19) Advice for employers: Safe Work Australia (external link) Includes information, posters, checklists and other resources for employers/workplaces, small business, workers, industries, consultation, mental health and working from home.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Advice and guidance for NSW workplaces (external link) Includes business preparedness and work health and risk assessment.

Preparing for a pandemic: A guide for employers: WorkSafe Victoria (external link)

Industry-specific resources

COVID-19 industry-specific resources

Working safely from home

Please check these links regularly for updates

Minimising the risk of COVID-19: Working from home: WorkSafe Victoria (external link) Includes information about ergonomics, keeping in touch, and managing mental wellbeing

A safe telecommute to work: WorkCover Queensland (external link) Covers how to ensure a worker’s at-home work area meets work health and safety requirements.

Working from home checklist: ComCare (external link)

Mental wellbeing/support resources

Please check these links regularly for updates

Beyond Blue (external link) 1300 22 4636

Lifeline (external link) 13 11 14

Head to Health: Australian Government Department of Health (external link)

COVID-19 Looking after your mental health: responding to uncertainty: Comcare (external link)

COVID-19 Mental health at work: SafeWork NSW (external link)

Workers compensation resources

Please check these links regularly for updates

COVID-19 and workers compensation in Tasmania

Fair Work Ombudsman

WorkSafe Tasmania cannot provide advice about workplace entitlements and obligations if you’re affected by COVID-19, including information about stand downs from work, working arrangements impacted by school closures, and pay and sick leave entitlements. For this information visit the Fair Work Ombudsman website (external link).

Business support

Please check these links regularly for updates

business.gov.au (external link): Information on business continuity planning, plus information, support and resources for business.

Business Tasmania (external link): Information about business support packages, registering the impact of COVID-19 and safeguarding your business.

Australian Government Treasury (external link): Information about the Australian Government's stimulus package, including JobKeeper payments (external link) and support for business.

Fireworks displays

Due to COVID-19 and directions issued under the Public Health Act 1997 about mass gatherings, WorkSafe Tasmania will not be issuing fireworks permits for 2020.

Updated: 8th April 2020