Safe Work Australia guidance on lifts

The Property Council of Australia has welcomed the updated guidance from Safe Work Australia (SWA) on the ‘COVIDSafe’ use of lifts in office buildings.

‘The new guidelines on lift usage are sensible and practical, and give our building owners, managers and their tenants the certainty they need to plan their return to the office in coming weeks,” said Ken Morrison, Chief Executive of the Property Council.

‘It recognises that people spend only short periods of time in a lift each day, and much less than the 15 minute period which is the threshold for the COVIDSafe app handshake.

‘The guidance rightly emphasises the need for measures to mitigate the risk of spreading COVID-19, and also highlights a number of complementary measures that will contribute to a safer workplace environment,’ Mr Morrison said.

These include the need to maintain working from home arrangements for some workers, stagger arrival times to workplaces to avoid travel peaks and using technology available to reprogram lifts for more efficient travel.

SWA also advises appropriate signage within lifts, regular cleaning of high touch points and good hygiene in addition to social distancing to minimise risk of exposure.

‘We have greatly appreciated the very constructive dialogue we have had with the Attorney-General and Safe Work Australia on these guidelines.

‘At all times, we’ve been guided by the need to promote health and safety while also enabling people to get back to work and support the re-opening of the Australian economy,’ Mr Morrison said.

The Safe Work Australia advice is available here .