To support optometrists and optometry practices during Victoria’s Stage 4 lockdown, Optometry Australia has developed a COVID safe plan template for all practices in the Greater Melbourne area, building on the minimum requirements of a Victorian workplace COVID Safe Plan. Once finalised, your COVID safe plan must be accessible for all practice staff and may be requested by DHHS representatives during spot checks or in the case of a positive diagnosis linked to your practice.
Optometry Australia recommends that optometrists and optometry practices:
- Understand your responsibilities
- Information on public health directions applying to both employees and employers is available at: https://www.business.vic.gov.au/disputes-disasters-and-succession-planning/covid-safe-business/creating-a-covid-safe-workplace
- In addition to your COVID safe plan all Victorian workplaces are required to establish and maintain a register of every person who attends the workplace for a period of more than 15 minutes. This https://www.business.vic.gov.au/disputes-disasters-and-succession-planning/covid-safe-business/creating-a-covid-safe-workplaceincludes all workers (including sub-contractors) and any customers, clients or visitors permitted in the workplace (including workplace inspectors). If an employee or visitor tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19), a current and accurate workplace attendance register will allow the employer to immediately identify anyone who has been in close contact with that person within the prior 48 hours. A template for the attendance register is also available for you to download.
You can also refer to the following guidance:
- Optometry Australia: Infection control factsheet
- Optometry Australia: Advice on cleaning requirements
- DHHS: Preventing infection in the workplace
- DHHS: Preparing for a case of coronavirus (COVID-19) in your workplace
- DHHS: Planning and responding to cases of coronavirus (COVID-19)
- DHHS: Cleaning and disinfecting to reduce COVID-19 transmission
- Worksafe: Managing COVID-19 risks – face coverings in workplaces
- WorkSafe: Other relevant industry specific guidance
- Business Victoria: Attendance record template
- Prepare your plan
Refer to the template provided below. Your COVID Safe Plan must set out, at a minimum:
- The process you have in place to keep records of all staff or patients who attend the practice
- Your actions to mitigate the introduction of COVID-19 in your practice
- The level of face-covering or personal protective equipment (PPE) required for your workforce
- How you will prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in your practice/workforce
Download the template:
- Keep your plan up to date and ready
Your COVID Safe Plan must be reviewed and updated routinely, and when restrictions or public health advice changes. Optometry Australia recommends that during the Stage 4 lockdown in Victoria, your COVID safe plan should be reviewed fortnightly.
Organisations with multiple premises must complete a COVID Safe Plan for each location.
You do not have to lodge your COVID Safe Plan with the Victorian Government. However, you may be required to provide the COVID safe plan to the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) or Worksafe upon request or in the event of a confirmed positive case at your workplace. There will be random business spot checks for COVID Safe Plans.
- Share your plan
Your workforce needs to be familiar with this plan. Where possible it is recommended that you discuss the plan with all practice staff before you finalise it.
Once you have completed the plan, share it with your team and make sure it is readily accessible at all times.
Need more information?
If you require further COVID-19 clarification or advice, please don’t hesitate to contact the Optometry Australia Optometry Advisor Helpdesk on 03 9668 8500 or at email@example.com.