The NSW government has issued a notice that inspectors from SafeWork, the agency dealing with workplace health and safety matters, will be making visits across all supermarkets and retailers of Greater Sydney to check if they are adhering to the laws of the latest public orders and ensure they are complying with them.
Since Saturday 14 August, inspectors have been targeting retail outlets within major shopping centres, particularly supermarkets, as well as food courts that are open for takeaways. They will ensure that the businesses whose trading activities should be restricted are closed.
Dimitri Argeres, SafeWork NSW, Director of Work Health and Safety, applauded the efforts of businesses who are acting in accordance with Covid-19 appropriate behaviour and also said that the retailers need to be COVID smart and COVID safe. Argeres cautioned that businesses breaking the law will be fined and could possibly face closure.
Business companies are required to have correct QR sign-in procedures and confirm that customers are using the Service NSW QR code app to check in. SafeWork NSW inspectors are assigned the responsibility to ensure that businesses have systematic COVID Safety Plans, reliable check-in processes, possess all mask-wearing requirements and maintain social distancing norms. “The COVID-Safe requirements are in place for an important reason, and all businesses need to make sure they are fully compliant,” Mr Argeres said. Severe penalties can be imposed on businesses that do not have correct check-in measures for customers which is critically important for effective contact tracing. Penalties up to $5,000 can be foisted for the first offence and repeat offending can lead to business closures over non-compliance to rules.
All members of society have been urged to report any potential COVID safety violations on the NSW Government website or to Crime Stoppers. They have been asked to keep the community safe by checking in while entering a store or business, wearing a mask and following the guidelines provided by NSW Health.