The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA), is clear on the responsibilities for both management and workers.
Management must maintain a safe working environment for all workers and others in the work place.
Workers must, through either their own action or inaction, not affect the safety of others.
Workers must also comply with any reasonable work instruction from management.
COVID-19 Public Health Response (Vaccinations) Order 2021 has mandated that certain sectors must be vaccinated.
Soon vaccinations mandates may be implemented into other work areas not specified in this Act.
If a risk assessment identifies a situation where a vaccine is considered necessary as a control measure, then management must maintain a safe environment for all that are there – as stated by HSWA.
So, what about other businesses? Here is a basic guideline:
- You should perform a detailed risk assessment on the ROLE performed by the unvaccinated worker. That means the role, not the person.
- Engage effectively with workers and their representatives.
- In performing the task, what is the level of risk to the person and others.
- Is it possible to use the worker in another role?
- If there is no option, then the person may be placed on special leave, or given notice of termination.
Vaccination requirements must only be for work health and safety reasons, as identified by a risk assessment on the specific role.