Our Response to COVID-19

The BBWVIS Group (Ballarat Industrial Supplies, Bendigo Industrial Supplies and West Vic Industrial Supplies) is committed to providing a safe and healthy workplace, safe working methods, and the provision of safe equipment. Workplace health and safety is considered by management to be an integral and vital part of the successful performance of any job. This policy sets out the responsibilities of the BBWVIS Group and its employees with the aim that together we can keep the workplace safe and productive in the face of the novel coronavirus global pandemic of 2020.

In so far as this policy imposes any obligations on the BBWVIS Group (those additional to those set out under legislation), those obligations are not contractual and do not give rise to any contractual rights. To the extent that this policy describes benefits and entitlements for employees (ie those additional to those set out under legislation), they are discretionary in nature and are also not intended to be contractual. The terms and conditions of employment that are intended to be contractual are set in an employee’s written employment contract. The BBWVIS Group may unilaterally introduce, vary, remove or replace this policy at any time.

A practical approach to Health & Safety during COVID-19

We embrace the challenge of rapid response: We accept that COVID-19 is novel and that authorities are not able to accurately predict outcomes from the global pandemic. We accept that the situation is evolving daily and that the situation will require flexibility as new information becomes available. Knowing that a plan will change is not an excuse for having no plan so we invest time and consideration into forming strategic plans, including several contingency plans. We seek to innovate and think laterally and are open to changes in work conditions and duties.

We are responsive and responsible in our roles as employers, employees and members of the community: We accept that along with significant health impacts, COVID-19 will cause significant economic impacts. We work as a team to minimise both the health and the economic impacts from COVID-19. We accept that personal sacrifices, particularly non-pharmaceutical interventions such as social distancing and social isolation, will be required.

We stay informed, only taking information from credible sources: We follow the advice given by our healthcare providers, our national and local public health authorities on how to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on whether COVID-19 is spreading in our area. They are best placed to advise on what people in our area should be doing to protect ourselves.

Recommended sources of information include:
• Department of Health (health advice)
• Department of Home Affairs (travel restrictions)
• Treasury (economic response)

We wash our hands frequently and thoroughly: Using the World Health Organisation’s recommended technique, we regularly and thoroughly clean our hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water. Washing our hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that may be on our hands.

We do not handshake and we adhere to social distancing: We maintain at least 1.5-metre distance between ourselves and others. Until further notice, we travel alone in vehicles at work and we do not travel in vehicles with our work colleagues. We maintain at least 2 metres between ourselves and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. When someone coughs or sneezes they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing has the disease.

We practice good respiratory hygiene; cough into our elbow, use tissues, handwash and we avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth: We ensure that we, and the people around us, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering our mouth and nose with our bent elbow or tissue when we cough or sneeze. Then we dispose of the used tissue immediately. Droplets spread virus. By following good respiratory hygiene you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19. We avoid touching our eyes, nose and mouth as hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to our eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter our body and can make us sick.

We clean workplace surfaces daily: We clean the bathrooms and high-risk surfaces (such as steering wheels, office desks, computer keyboards and mouses) daily.

If we have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing we seek medical attention early: Stay home if you feel unwell. If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention and call in advance. Follow the directions of your local health authority. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in our area. Calling in advance will allow your health care provider to quickly direct you to the right health facility. This will also protect you and help prevent spread of viruses and other infections. You must keep your employer immediately informed of any illness during this time. Additionally, you must inform your employer if you or anyone in your immediate family/living in your home are diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19. You must also adhere with medical recommendations (including social isolation recommendations) to assist you and/or your family to best recover and limit the transmission of COVID-19. If you are diagnosed or suspected of having COVID-19 we will notify all team members and anyone you were in contact with for the 24 hours immediately prior to developing symptoms consistent with COVID-19 and performed health certified cleaning of our workshop and relevant vehicle.

We use compassion and common sense and we keep our most vulnerable front of mind in our actions: We recognise that the health impacts of COVID-19 are greatest for our elderly and immune-compromised citizens. We also recognise that this is a potentially stressful time for our team members. We express compassion for ourselves and our team members and offer support where possible.

Consultation & Communication

We recognise that employee consultation and participation in our safety system is vital and improves decision–making about health and safety matters in the workplace. Consultation is also included in the process of risk assessments and the development of our safe work practices. Employees shall be actively involved in the workplace safety system. Suggestions for change and improvements to policies, procedures or safe work practices are encouraged, through reporting to management. Meetings to consult and inform employees on safety issues shall be conducted through staff meetings, as regularly as is necessary. Employees shall be made aware of safety issues relating to their jobs on a regular basis. The manner of doing so will vary depending upon the type of information to be conveyed.

We expect our employees to be committed to working with management in order to effectively manage health and safety on the job. Employees are encouraged to contribute to decisions that may affect their health and safety in the workplace, through contact with management and team meetings. The Management shall work in conjunction with employees to review and update this policy, and other policies and procedures relating to work health and safety as regularly as is necessary.