COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person can acquire the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.   

A key way you can protect workers and others from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is by requiring workers and others to practice good hygiene. Below are measures to ensure good hygiene in your workplace.  

Remember, you must consult with workers and health and safety representatives on health and safety matters relating to COVID-19, including what control measures to put in place in your workplace.  

Worker and client hygiene

You must direct your workers, clients and others to practice good hygiene while at your office or at properties being viewed. Good hygiene requires everyone to wash their hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them with clean paper towel. Everyone must wash their hands: 

  • before and after eating 
  • after coughing or sneezing 
  • after going to the toilet, and  
  • when changing tasks and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.  

An alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient must be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions when it is not possible to wash hands. 
Good hygiene also requires everyone to, at all times: 

  • cover their coughs and sneezes with their elbow or a clean tissue (and no spitting) 
  • avoid touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth 
  • dispose of tissues and cigarette butts hygienically, e.g. in closed bins 
  • wash their hands before and after smoking a cigarette  
  • wash hands before and after interacting with clients
  • clean and disinfect shared equipment and plant after use 
  • wash body, hair (including facial hair) and clothes thoroughly every day 
  • have no intentional physical contact, for example, shaking hands and patting backs. 

You should implement processes to ensure clients do not to enter the workplace (and to reschedule their appointment) if they: 

  • are experiencing symptoms linked to COVID-19 such as fever, cough or shortness of breath or
  • have been in close contact with someone who is confirmed as having COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms linked to COVID-19.

To ensure clients do not attend the workplace or appointments if they or a close contact are unwell, inform clients of these expectations when booking appointments. 

  • If clients are booking over the phone, have a template written out for workers to read to the client. If booking online, add additional text to the booking confirmation setting out your expectations. 
  • You could also send a text message to clients prior to the appointment to ask clients to reschedule if they or a close contact is unwell.

You should also inform clients of hygiene standards that are expected when they attend for their appointment. This includes:

  • using alcohol-based hand sanitiser upon arrival
  • minimising the number of times they touch their phone and other personal items as they could unintentionally transfer germs, and
  • minimising the number of surfaces they touch at properties.

To enhance good hygiene outcomes:  

  • develop infection control policies in consultation with your workers. These policies should outline measures in place to prevent the spread of infectious diseases at the workplace. Communicate these policies to workers 
  •  train workers on the importance of washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them correctly, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, before entering and exiting a common area 
  • place posters near handwashing facilities showing how to correctly wash and dry hands and clean hands with sanitiser 
  • inform workers of workplace hygiene standards that are expected when utilising common areas (cleaning up after yourself, placing rubbish in bins provided, avoiding putting items such as phones on meal surfaces, etc.)
  • provide alcohol-based hand sanitiser in appropriate locations in the office, including the reception, and make it available for clients to use at the beginning and end of appointments, as well as property inspections, open houses and auctions.
  • direct clients viewing properties to refrain from unnecessary touching of items within the properties. Consider opening cupboards, wardrobes etc. where appropriate, to minimise the need for clients to touch these surfaces
  • regularly wipe down frequently touched surfaces such as counters and handles which clients touch with disinfectant wipes before and after each appointment or showing 
  • consider opening windows or adjusting air-conditioning for more ventilation throughout the property being inspected
  • provide key documents such as property brochures, contracts or building inspection reports electronically, or have enough copies for all clients so that multiple clients aren’t touching and viewing the same document
  • clean bidding paddles or numbers before and after use for each auction
  • request that clients bring and use their own pen for the purpose of signing documents/filling out forms, make pens available that the clients can keep, or clean or sanitise pens between each use

Property owners and tenants should also be encouraged to practice good hygiene. We have prepared phone and email scripts that can be used to discuss hygiene measures when you perform work in someone’s home. 

You should put processes in place to regularly monitor and review the implementation of hygiene measures to ensure they are being followed and remain effective.  

Office hygiene facilities

You must ensure there are adequate and accessible facilities to achieve good hygiene and that they are in good working order, are clean and are otherwise safe.  

You may need to provide additional washing facilities, change rooms and dining facilities. You must also consider whether there are an adequate number of hand washing stations, in convenient locations, to sustain the increase in workers practicing good hygiene. You may need to provide alcohol-based hand sanitiser in appropriate locations, such as entry and exits, if there are limited hand washing facilities available. 

Washroom facilities must be properly stocked and have adequate supplies of toilet paper, soap, water, and drying facilities (paper towels). They must also be kept clean and in good working order. 

When determining what facilities you need, consider the number of workers on site, the shift arrangements and when access to these facilities is required.  If you have temporarily down-sized worker numbers in response to COVID-19 and these will now be increased, you must take this into account to determine the facilities you need before workers return to work. 

If creating a new eating or common area to enable physical distancing, you must ensure these areas are accessible from the workplace and adequately equipped (e.g drinking water, rubbish bins), and protected from the elements, contaminants and hazards.  

You should also consider opening windows or adjusting air-conditioning for more ventilation in common areas and limiting or reducing recirculated air-conditioning where possible.  

For further information on providing adequate and accessible facilities, including providing facilities for a temporary, mobile or remote workplace see the Model Code of Practice: Managing the work environment and facilities.
 

COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person can acquire the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.   

A key way you can protect workers and others from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is by requiring workers and others to practice good hygiene. Below are measures to ensure good hygiene in your workplace.  

Remember, you must consult with workers and health and safety representatives on health and safety matters relating to COVID-19, including what control measures to put in place in your workplace.  

Worker and client hygiene

You must direct your workers, clients and others to practice good hygiene while at your office or at properties being viewed. Good hygiene requires everyone to wash their hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry them with clean paper towel. Everyone must wash their hands: 

  • before and after eating 
  • after coughing or sneezing 
  • after going to the toilet, and  
  • when changing tasks and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.  

An alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient must be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions when it is not possible to wash hands. 
Good hygiene also requires everyone to, at all times: 

  • cover their coughs and sneezes with their elbow or a clean tissue (and no spitting) 
  • avoid touching their face, eyes, nose and mouth 
  • dispose of tissues and cigarette butts hygienically, e.g. in closed bins 
  • wash their hands before and after smoking a cigarette  
  • wash hands before and after interacting with clients
  • clean and disinfect shared equipment and plant after use 
  • wash body, hair (including facial hair) and clothes thoroughly every day 
  • have no intentional physical contact, for example, shaking hands and patting backs. 

You should implement processes to ensure clients do not to enter the workplace (and to reschedule their appointment) if they: 

  • are experiencing symptoms linked to COVID-19 such as fever, cough or shortness of breath or
  • have been in close contact with someone who is confirmed as having COVID-19 or is experiencing symptoms linked to COVID-19.

To ensure clients do not attend the workplace or appointments if they or a close contact are unwell, inform clients of these expectations when booking appointments. 

  • If clients are booking over the phone, have a template written out for workers to read to the client. If booking online, add additional text to the booking confirmation setting out your expectations. 
  • You could also send a text message to clients prior to the appointment to ask clients to reschedule if they or a close contact is unwell.

You should also inform clients of hygiene standards that are expected when they attend for their appointment. This includes:

  • using alcohol-based hand sanitiser upon arrival
  • minimising the number of times they touch their phone and other personal items as they could unintentionally transfer germs, and
  • minimising the number of surfaces they touch at properties.

To enhance good hygiene outcomes:  

  • develop infection control policies in consultation with your workers. These policies should outline measures in place to prevent the spread of infectious diseases at the workplace. Communicate these policies to workers 
  •  train workers on the importance of washing their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them correctly, or using an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, before entering and exiting a common area 
  • place posters near handwashing facilities showing how to correctly wash and dry hands and clean hands with sanitiser 
  • inform workers of workplace hygiene standards that are expected when utilising common areas (cleaning up after yourself, placing rubbish in bins provided, avoiding putting items such as phones on meal surfaces, etc.)
  • provide alcohol-based hand sanitiser in appropriate locations in the office, including the reception, and make it available for clients to use at the beginning and end of appointments, as well as property inspections, open houses and auctions.
  • direct clients viewing properties to refrain from unnecessary touching of items within the properties. Consider opening cupboards, wardrobes etc. where appropriate, to minimise the need for clients to touch these surfaces
  • regularly wipe down frequently touched surfaces such as counters and handles which clients touch with disinfectant wipes before and after each appointment or showing 
  • consider opening windows or adjusting air-conditioning for more ventilation throughout the property being inspected
  • provide key documents such as property brochures, contracts or building inspection reports electronically, or have enough copies for all clients so that multiple clients aren’t touching and viewing the same document
  • clean bidding paddles or numbers before and after use for each auction
  • request that clients bring and use their own pen for the purpose of signing documents/filling out forms, make pens available that the clients can keep, or clean or sanitise pens between each use

Property owners and tenants should also be encouraged to practice good hygiene. We have prepared phone and email scripts that can be used to discuss hygiene measures when you perform work in someone’s home. 

You should put processes in place to regularly monitor and review the implementation of hygiene measures to ensure they are being followed and remain effective.  

Office hygiene facilities

You must ensure there are adequate and accessible facilities to achieve good hygiene and that they are in good working order, are clean and are otherwise safe.  

You may need to provide additional washing facilities, change rooms and dining facilities. You must also consider whether there are an adequate number of hand washing stations, in convenient locations, to sustain the increase in workers practicing good hygiene. You may need to provide alcohol-based hand sanitiser in appropriate locations, such as entry and exits, if there are limited hand washing facilities available. 

Washroom facilities must be properly stocked and have adequate supplies of toilet paper, soap, water, and drying facilities (paper towels). They must also be kept clean and in good working order. 

When determining what facilities you need, consider the number of workers on site, the shift arrangements and when access to these facilities is required.  If you have temporarily down-sized worker numbers in response to COVID-19 and these will now be increased, you must take this into account to determine the facilities you need before workers return to work. 

If creating a new eating or common area to enable physical distancing, you must ensure these areas are accessible from the workplace and adequately equipped (e.g drinking water, rubbish bins), and protected from the elements, contaminants and hazards.  

You should also consider opening windows or adjusting air-conditioning for more ventilation in common areas and limiting or reducing recirculated air-conditioning where possible.  

For further information on providing adequate and accessible facilities, including providing facilities for a temporary, mobile or remote workplace see the Model Code of Practice: Managing the work environment and facilities.

COVID-19 spreads through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes. A person can acquire the virus by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose or eyes.   

Worker hygiene

A key way you can protect yourself, your colleagues and others from the risk of exposure to COVID-19 is by practising good hygiene.  

Good hygiene requires washing your hands regularly with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and drying them with clean paper towel. You must wash your hands: 

  • before and after eating 
  • after coughing or sneezing 
  • after going to the toilet  
  • when changing tasks and after touching potentially contaminated surfaces.  

When it is not possible to wash hands, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with at least 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol as the active ingredient must be used as per the manufacturer’s instructions. 

Good hygiene also requires you to, at all times: 

  • cover coughs and sneezes with your elbow or a clean tissue (and no spitting) 
  • avoid touching your face, eyes, nose and mouth 
  • dispose of tissues and cigarette butts hygienically, e.g. in closed bins 
  • wash hands before and after smoking a cigarette  
  • wash hands before and after interacting with clients
  • clean and disinfect shared equipment after use, including the basin area
  • wash body, hair (including facial hair) and clothes thoroughly every day 
  • have no intentional physical contact, for example, shaking hands and patting backs. You should tie long hair back to prevent it touching the client
  • not attend work if you are feeling unwell.

For information on the measures your employer should be implementing, see our employer information for your industry.
 

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