As we return to workplaces, SafeWork SA recognises the challenges businesses and workers have regarding the physical distancing guideline of 1.5m separation and the 2m² density rule whilst inside a lift.
Safe Work Australia’s COVID-19 information and guidance, which all State and Territory WHS Regulators, Unions and Industry Groups contribute towards developing, is updated to reflect these challenges.
Consequently, the 2m² density rule in lifts is removed from the Safe Work Australia physical distancing guidance material, however, you must still ensure, as far as you reasonably can, that people continue to practice physical distancing. It is still prudent to implement other controls, such as regular personal hygiene and hand washing, regular cleaning of high touch point areas and other controls to reduce or change the frequency of lift usage. That said, SafeWork SA recognises that physically distancing in lifts in not always practicable. Therefore, we will not be taking an active compliance approach to enforcing Work Health and Safety laws for 1.5m distancing or 2m² density rule within lifts unless excessive numbers of people are contained within them.
We consider it reasonable that people can travel in a lift to a workplace and be within 1.5m of each other; however, there should be sufficient room so as not to physically touch another person and for the ease of egress of persons at different floor levels. This will result in the lift maximum capacities not being used.
Workers and Health and Safety Representatives must be consulted in the development of protocols for using lifts and workers have the right to not travel in a lift if they feel unsafe to do so.
We ask that businesses and workers remain vigilant to the SA Health guidelines and, where practicable, remain at 1.5m physical distancing at all other times.
SafeWork SA is here to support businesses and workers to safely return to work, so if you have questions relating to lift use do not hesitate to call our Help Centre on 1300 365 255 or email us.