From 1 January 2012 the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 (WHS Act) has effect in the ACT, replacing the Work Safety Act 2008. The information on this page is in the process of being updated to reflect the new WHS Act. Click here for further information on the WHS Act.
The following links may be of assistance in dealing with responding to the H1N1 Influenza (or Swine Flu):
The symptoms for 'swine flu' will be the same as for other influenza viruses, including:
To prepare your workplace, the guide recommends that employers:
On 26 June 2009, ACT Health advised that their Influenza Assessment Centres had been set up to assist in their goal of reducing the spread of Influenza by assessing and treating people who may be feeling unwell with respiratory symptoms.
People with symptoms should make an appointment before attending an Influenza Assessment Centre.
Bookings can be made by calling healthdirect 24 hours-a-day on 1800 022 222. You will be assessed over the phone and, if necessary, an appointment will be made for you to attend an Influenza Assessment Centre. Pople concerned that they have influenza may also be referred to a Centre by a GP.
In the PROTECT phase, which Australia is currently in, only symptomatic people with moderate or severe symptoms or with identified risk factors will be provided with antiviral treatment. The PROTECT phase of the national response was announced on 17 June 2009. The current focus is to protect vulnerable members of our community from severe consequences of this new disease while acknowledging that, fortunately, swine flu is mild in most people. Vulnerable groups include pregnant women, Aborigines and Torres Strait Islanders, and those with chronic respiratory and other conditions that may reduce immunity.
ACT Health advise that the average person working in an office or trade environment is not at any particular risk of becoming infected with this virus. As always, if you are unwell, particularly if you are coughing or sneezing, you should stay away from work until symptoms resolve.
Those who are in vulnerable groups may need to be more vigilant if working in, or attending, health-care settings. the Communicable Diseases Network Australia has prepared guidelines "H1Ni Guidance for Health Care workers at increased risk of complications" available at www.healthemergency.gov.au (click on Health Professionals and scroll down until you see this title.) If you need to, you should discuss your personal situation with your supervisor.
We can all minimise the risk of infection by sound hygiene practices including regular hand-washing and cough and sneeze etiquette.