COVID-19: WHS Accreditation Scheme Auditing Update
The Federal Safety Commissioner has announced updates to the temporary adjustments introduced on 27 March 2020 to OFSC operations and audits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes as Governments across Australia are taking steps to ease COVID-19 restrictions, based on the latest health advice. In line with the easing of restrictions and the move by some state/territory regulators to return to their proactive audit regimes, the OFSC will also begin a transition back to a full onsite audit program.
- Resumption of a full onsite auditing program will be gradual.
- The first step, commencing on 8 June 2020, will expand current auditing arrangements to include all accreditation applicants (not just those in time-critical tenders) and a monthly quota of low-risk accredited companies selected based on a range of factors including length of time that has passed since their last audit and reported safety incidents.
- Further steps towards a full onsite auditing program, and the start dates for these, will be advised over the coming months as the COVID situation evolves and Governments adjust their restrictions.
Federal Safety Commissioner David Denney has said, “the health and safety of building and construction workers remains my priority. My office will continue to work with companies individually to schedule audits in a way that is sensitive to their onsite COVID management arrangements, but also ensures all accredited companies continue to meet the requirements of the Scheme.”
The FSC has also encouraged companies to remain familiar with the latest building and construction advice on managing COVID-19 from Safe Work Australia, with the FSC’s website also full of handy resources regarding management of COVID-19.
Commissioner Denney has thanked accredited companies for their efforts to this point in protecting the health and safety of their workers, and the broader community.
The OFSC will continue to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on its operations and will provide updates as changes to the way we work are required.
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