Court Services Victoria's COVIDSafe Plan
Court Services Victoria is committed to protecting the health, safety and wellbeing of all employees, judicial officers and VCAT members, key partners and court users.
Court Services Victoria has a COVIDSafe Plan that covers the workplaces of Victorian courts and VCAT.
The Court Services Victoria COVIDSafe Plan sets out what the courts and VCAT:
- are doing to help prevent the introduction of COVID-19 into our workplaces
- are doing to prepare for, and respond to, a suspected or confirmed case of COVID-19 in a workplace
- are doing to meet all of the requirements set out by the Victorian Government.
Each court and tribunal site has an individual COVIDSafe Plan that outlines any specific workplace COVIDSafe measures.
The COVIDSafe Plan covers off on the Victorian government's six COVIDSafe workplace principles:
- practise physical distancing
- wear a face mask
- practise good hygiene
- keep electronic records and act quickly
- avoid interactions in enclosed spaces
- create workforce bubbles.
Practice physical distancing
- Signage throughout the buildings, including at public waiting areas, lifts, toilets and office spaces, encourages physical distancing where possible, and staying at home if unwell.
- Signage about good hygiene and the use of face coverings is displayed at entrances, in kitchens and bathrooms, and where sanitiser and masks are distributed.
- Perspex hygiene screens have been installed at Registry counters.
Wear a face mask
- Anyone in a court or tribunal building must follow the Chief Health Officer's current direction regarding the wearing or carrying of fitted face masks, unless an exemption applies.
- Disposable masks and hand sanitiser (to use before putting a mask on), are available to court and tribunal users at entrance points before security screening.
- It is the preferred position of Court Services Victoria that court users with a medical exemption from wearing a fitted face masks use a face shield as a form of protection. Face shields are available for this situation.
- Face masks can be disposed into any bin.
Practise good hygiene
- Hand sanitiser dispensers are in place in a variety of public areas, at the entrances of buildings and courtrooms, and near lifts.
- Cleaning and sanitising occur regularly in all buildings. All public facing touchpoints, toilets, wash basins, soap dispensers, hand sanitiser units, kitchens and office areas are sanitised at least twice daily.
- Trays and equipment at security entrances are cleaned after each use.
- Following a reported coronavirus (COVID-19) case in a court or tribunal, impacted areas are closed immediately and deep-cleaning is performed.
Keep electronic records and act quickly
- Record keeping measures are in place to record the attendance of all visitors to court venues. The primary measure is by way of the Victorian Government QR Code, which is in use at every venue. A manual system is available as back-up.
- Court Security Officers, as authorised officers, can refuse entry to court venues and remove from court premises any person who:
- advises they have coronavirus (COVID-19) or has been tested for coronavirus (COVID-19) and is awaiting results
- advises they currently have flu like symptoms
- has visible flu like symptoms
- has visited an active public exposure site
- has been directed by the Department of Health to isolate.
- Court Services Victoria has implemented a protocol to support proactive notification of internal and key justice sector stakeholders when a positive coronavirus (COVID-19) case is reported as having been present in a Victorian court or tribunal venue.
- Court Services Victoria notifies WorkSafe of confirmed cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) in the workplace, and has a dedicated team that provides immediate support and response to any issue.
Avoid interactions in closed spaces
- The courts and VCAT hear a number of matters online without the need for physical attendance at a venue.
- When attending in person, rooms are marked with signage encouraging physical distancing where possible, and air conditioning systems are monitored to ensure optimal performance and air flow.
- In areas of courts and tribunals where the public are roaming for general visitation purposes and not for the operations of courts, maintaining a physical distance of 1.5 metres from others is recommended where possible.
Create workforce bubbles
- Flexible work arrangements have been strengthened, work hubs have been created, and clear desk policies and desk booking practises have been implemented.
Source: Court Services Victoria website.