ACT work safety commissioner Greg Jones says he would take action against businesses who are repeatedly flouting social distancing requirements designed to combat the spread of coronavirus.
WorkSafe ACT has already received a steady stream of complaints about businesses not following requirements but most readily comply when contacted about breaches.
Mr Jones said businesses still operating needed to review their health and safety procedures and risk assessments daily in line with current government advice.
He said complaints WorkSafe had received followed no particular pattern and covered a wide range of businesses and areas.
"Most of the complaints tend to be people claiming or pointing out the social distancing and perhaps some of the cleansing isn't as good as what it should be. We contact those businesses or those areas and we very strongly suggest to them they monitor health websites and undertake or enforce either than cleansing or that distancing," Mr Jones said.
He said most businesses contact by WorkSafe since social distancing requirements were introduced had complied after the first reminder.
"As we mention it to them and we outline the consequences of not doing so, they usually immediately comply and just said, 'We weren't aware' or, 'OK, we'll provide more attention' or, 'We've been busy, so we'll do that'.
"Most of them, after we speak to them, become compliant.
"But clearly if we do repeat visits to the same premises, that would be different. I would be prepared to take regulatory action as necessary to enforce these rules."
Updated advice from WorkSafe ACT has been made available to workplaces to mitigate risks associated with COVID-19 and the ACT government's Mentally Healthier Workplaces initiative was also providing help, Minister for Employment and Workplace Safety Suzanne Orr said.
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Increased leave entitlements have also been made available for ACT public servants, including casual staff.
"We've already taken a number of steps to make sure that we are implementing work health and safety precautions for our work force. We have a really well equipped work force which has been able to work digitally, so we've already got home-based work occurring in a large number of instances," Ms Orr said.
"We are practicing physical distancing within our offices where workers within the public service have been deemed essential and do still have to come to work. We do have those precautions for physical distancing. We've increased the level of cleaning going around the offices."
Ms Orr said more ACT public servants could shift to working from home as the pandemic situation changed.
"I think it's fair to say this is a continually evolving situation and as per the best practice, we'll continue to monitor how the situation develops and what we need to do to respond to that. Of course, in that context, changes are possible and I wouldn't rule out that we see more people working from home," she said.
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