Bulletin – Sheriffs – April 2020

The current pandemic has created unprecedented challenges for members working in the Office of the Sheriff, including all SHO staff not working from home in particular Sheriff Officer’s and court Officer’s. Every member should be congratulated and rightly proud of the work they have done in the face of these challenges. You provide a critical service to the state, even if it’s not always as visible to the community as your colleagues in other emergency services.

Social distancing and work practices

Office of the Sheriff has an obligation under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, to keep our staff and the public safe and to minimise the risk of COVID-19 exposure to staff.

At this time you are not working in a business-as-usual environment and social distancing still needs to be practiced as much as the environment allows. Your work still needs to be done but adaptations need to be made to minimise the risk to yourselves and others.

Every work site is different and we encourage you to work with your fellow members, your local delegates and local management in addressing these issues appropriately. Please see current standing direction from the Sheriff HERE feel free to pass on feedback to your local delegates.

Frequently Asked Questions- Social Distancing

Under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, the Department is required to eliminate and then minimise risks to workers health and safety.

We are aware that the Sheriff’s work environment can be a high risk under the COVID-19 pandemic and that not only the public but staff themselves pose risk in bringing the virus into workplaces. Social Distancing may be a key strategy to maintain worker safety and to maintain business continuity in the case of an infection in the environment.

Therefore we are recommending the following in line with federal and state health recommendations whilst trying to maintain 4 square meter spaces where possible:

All security procedures should be followed as a priority in safety over infection measures

If required to undertake security measures that put you at risk of infection, appropriate PPE should be provided. WHO and NSW Health current advice is still that washing hands with soap and water or the use of hand sanitiser is still the most effective way of not contracting the virus.

Review local procedures to avoid unnecessary exposure where possible, including through amendment of risks no longer necessary in consultation with your management.

That all non-essential meetings utilise social distancing or digital communication to avoid risk of infection.

If you are suffering respiratory symptoms- do not go to work and notify your local managers.

Regularly undertake hygiene measures such as cleaning hands.

All workplaces should be increasing their cleaning regime.

Frequently Asked Questions- Workers Compensation and COVID 19

The PSA and the Department have worked on mechanisms to get special leave for all workers affected by COVID 19 under the Premiers Circular 2020-01. This support with your Medicare system (which unions also fought for and won) should provide most workers with their immediate health and income needs. There are however, concerns for PSA members if they do get infected, that the recovery time for COVID19 can be longer for some people than just a few weeks.

Doctors have been reporting cases overseas state that a small number of patients have experienced lung scaring and delayed recovery. There is no uniform answer for whether workers compensation will cover workers in every situation.

There is a legal requirement for liability to be accepted under Workers Compensation Act 1987, that a causal nexus must exist between work and the injury/illness, and for diseases liability that the illness was acquired in the course of work and work was the main contributing factor.

What can you do?

Encourage your colleagues to (JOIN Link) the PSA online

Give a copy of this bulletin to your colleagues.

Print this bulletin and put it up on your notice board.

Get involved as a PSA Delegate/Contact – get in touch with your Organiser.

Your SOVBAG delegates are:

Edward Lia – Campbelltown Court

Stephen Hancock – Downing Centre

Glenn Elliott-Rudder – Wagga Wagga

Joe Safour – Wagga Wagga

Monique Muir – Coffs Harbour

Marko Petrovic – Downing Centre

Your PSA Staff are:

Gino DiCandilo – Industrial Offcer

gdicandilo@psa.asn.au

Latu Sailosi – Organiser

lsailosi@psa.asn.au

 

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