•Calculate the number of people you can have in an enclosed space at any one time
Do a walk through of your workplace with a tape measure and write down the dimensions of all enclosed spaces.
Calculate the area of each enclosed space by multiplying the length of the space in metres by its width in metres
Divide the calculated area by 4. The result is the number of workers you can have in a space to allow for at least 4 square metres of space per person.
Length = 5 metres, Width = 10 metres
Area in square metres: 5 x 10 = 50
Maximum number of people: 50 ÷ 4 = 12.5.
Round it down to 12.
•Is it reasonably practicable for you to provide 4 square metres of space per person?
Consider how many people are usually present in the enclosed area at any one time. Is this more or less than the number you calculated above?
If the calculated number is less than the number of people in the workplace, can you reduce the number of people in the enclosed space by:
reducing the number of work tasks in the enclosed space
postponing non-essential work
facilitating working from home
modifying work tasks
splitting workers’ shifts to reduce the number of workers onsite at any given time
restricting access to the enclosed space to essential workers and/or others
staggering entry into the workplace by customers or clients
Are there any considerations you need to take into account regarding worker numbers?
Child to carer ratios, the minimum number of workers required to carry out a task or operate plant or equipment safely
Have you consulted with workers and relevant health and safety representatives on implementing this control measure? You have a duty to consult with workers when they are likely to be or are directly affected by a
situation involving their health and safety.
•What if it is not reasonably practicable to provide 4 square metres of space per person?
Can you still implement measures that increase the square meterage each person has?
Implement other control measures to reduce exposure to COVID-19 (e.g 1.5m physical distance between each person).
•Identify all the situations, tasks and processes where workers and others (clients, customers, contractors, visitors) interact closely with each other.
What work tasks require workers to be close to each other?
Tasks involving safe lifting, working at heights in elevated platforms, conducting private meeting.
What are the situations where workers interact closely with customers or clients?
Customers at the cash register, child care workers, washing someone’s hair over a basin.
Does the layout of the workplace, including entry and exits, require workers and/or others to be close to each other?
Dining room tables in the break areas, office desks next to each other, data centre racks in close proximity
Do workers and/or customers or clients travel together in vehicles?
Identify the situations tasks and processes where it is reasonably practicable for workers and others to keep 1.5m away from each other
Can you change the layout of your workplace?
Can you move work stations and plant further apart? Can you restrict customer or client movement to a particular part of the workplace? 1.5m distancing includes both side to side and back to back.
Can you modify the way workers and other interact with each other?
Can put in physical barriers that minimise contact between workers and others (e.g Perspex shield)
Is there a way to manage doorways more effectively to avoid congestion? (e.g. one door marked for entry only, the other for exits, or keeping some entrance doors open, if safe to do so)
Can you modify how staff gather, meet and train together?
Use electronic communication such as tele and video conferencing for meetings and training. Ensure face-to-face time is limited.
Can you modify the use ofworkplace facilities?
Reduce the number of workers utilising common areas at a given time by staggering meal breaks and start times.
Review regular deliveries. Can you request contactless delivery? Check systems for e-invoicing are in place.
Identify and address, so far as reasonably practicable, any other risks that may arise if workers and others are required to practice physical distancing
Have you consulted with workers and relevant health and safety representatives on implementing this control measure. You have a duty to consult with workers when they are likely to be or are directly affected by a situation involving their health and safety
•Put in place measures to communicate and remind workers of the need to practice physical distancing
Put signs around the workplace and create wall or floor markings to identify 1.5m distance. Your staff could wear a badge as a visual reminder to themselves and each other
Provide physical distancing markers on the floor in areas where customers line up or where workers perform tasks.
•You may have particular work tasks that, due to their nature of the work or for work health and safety reasons, can only be performed if workers are in close contact.
Identify and implement measures to reduce the amount of time workers spend in close contact.
Is the work task essential? Can it be postponed?
What measures can you put in place to reduce the amount of time workers spend in close contact. Can you:
minimise the number of people within an area at any time?
stagger start, finish and break times where appropriate?
move work tasks to different areas of the workplace or off-site if possible?
separate workers into dedicated teams and have them work the same shift or work in a particular area?
provide each worker or the dedicated team their own equipment or tools?
Have you consulted with workers and relevant health and safety representatives on implementing this control measure? You have a duty to consult with workers when they are likely to be or are directly affected by a situation involving their health and safety.
•The use of personal protective equipment (PPE)
Have you considered and implemented measures to limit the amount of time workers will spend in close contact?
Will workers, despite other control measures, be in close contact with each other or with other people for longer than the recommended time (i.e more than 15 minutes face to face cumulative over the course of a week or more than 2 hours in a shared closed space)?
Consider the use of personal protective equipment (PPE). This includes respirators
with positive airflow and disposable gloves
Workers must be trained in the proper use of PPE. Be aware of WHS risks that may arise as a result of workers using and wearing PPE