Wanless Waste Management COVID-19 Policy

 Wanless Waste Management takes the health and wellbeing of its employees seriously. Outbreaks of any type are always a public health concern, and the situation is evolving rapidly around the world and within Australia. 

Wanless Waste Management wishes to ensure we act as far as reasonably practicable to prevent or minimise the transmission and spread of the COVID-19 virus in our workplace and manage the health, safety and welfare of our workers according to our obligations to Work Health Safety (WHS) Legislation. 

In light of the current outbreak of the COVID-19 strain of Coronavirus in Australia, Wanless Waste Management is implementing the following Health and Safety Policy. 

Immediate Measures for Wanless Waste Management 

Under WHS law, Wanless is required, so far as is reasonably practicable, to ensure the health and safety of its workers and others at the workplace. To meet this duty, Wanless has identified risks in the workplace, and done what it can to eliminate those risks, or where this is not reasonably practicable, to minimise them. 

Wanless will undertake risk assessments for employee and workplace conditions based on the available information provided by our employees and from health authorities under the consultation of the affected parties. 

According to the conditions of the risk assessment, appropriate control measures will be developed to eliminate or minimise the risks to workers and/or other people at the usual workplace. Wanless Management reserves the right to determine where it is appropriate for workers to work from another location including their home. Wanless Management endeavour to consider all aspects during the risk assessment process including information provided to us from the State Health Department

If Wanless Management makes a decision directing a worker to stay away from the workplace they will ensure all employees will have access to entitlements in line with Fairwork Australia, their employment contact / enterprise agreement and the information provided by Fairwork regarding the coronavirus listed here.

In addition to assessing individual cases the following immediate measures are to be implemented as mandatory on all Wanless sites and workplaces: 

– All work required international and interstate travel is suspended as of 18/03/2020 until further notice.

– Any Wanless worker who has been overseas in the last 14 days must: 

o Not attend work.

o Self isolate from others for 14 days from the day you returned or arrived from overseas.

o Contact your direct manager or the contact listed below.

o Monitor yourself for symptoms.

 

– Any Wanless worker who has been in contact with a confirmed case must: 

o Not attend work.

o Self isolate from others for 14 days from the time you were made aware.

o Contact your direct manager or the contact listed below.

o Monitor yourself for symptoms.


– Any Wanless worker who has been in contact with a person identified as a “close contact” of another person with confirmed COVID-19 infection: 

o May attend work (you do not need to self-isolate although the “close contact” does).

o Report the information to your direct manager or the contact listed below.

o Communicate with the “close contact” daily to determine their status – if the close contact develops symptoms and is confirmed as a COVID-19 case you must self-isolate from others for 14 days from the time you were made aware. 

 

– Any Wanless worker who has acute cold/flu-like symptoms or is unwell and not fit for work must: 

o Not attend work.

o Contact your direct manager or the contact listed below.

o Seek medical advice as appropriate and according to direction from the State Health Department.

 

– Any Wanless worker who is in contact with someone under mandatory isolation due to recent overseas travel or close contact with a COVID-19 carrier must: 

o Report the information to your direct manager or one of the contacts listed below.

o To the best of their ability: 

▪ Maintain a safe distance from that person at all times but support them as much as possible to maintain their self-isolation. 

▪ Stay in a different room from other people or be separated as much as possible. Wear a surgical mask when you are in the same room as another person. 

▪ Use a separate bathroom, if available. 

▪ Monitor their symptoms and take appropriate action according to the State Health Department. 

▪ Practice good hygiene and clean household surfaces regularly. – Within all Wanless workplaces: 

o Social distancing will be in effect where possible. All employees are to attempt to keep a distance of 1.5 metres between themselves and other people, avoiding shaking hands, hugging etc.

o Avoid moving between workspaces unnecessarily, communicate via phone, mobile phone, email or UHF. 

Return to Work 

For any Wanless employee who has been instructed to not attend work, if you do not have any symptoms within the mandated isolation period and are completely well you may contact your manager to discuss your return to work. 

Wanless employees must be aware that under some circumstances additional testing or clearances may be required before returning to work. 

NOTE: If you develop a fever or respiratory symptoms, please: 

– Call your doctor or healthdirect on 1800 022 222. When you call, tell them where you have travelled or if you have been in contact with a confirmed case. If your symptoms are severe: 

– Visit your local Emergency Department. When you arrive, immediately tell staff where you have travelled or if you have been in contact with a confirmed case. 

Other Recommendations for Wanless Worksites 

– Practice good hand hygiene, clean your hands frequently with soap and water for 20 seconds, or an alcohol-based hand rub.

– If you think a surface may be contaminated, clean it with a common household disinfectant to kill the virus and protect yourself and others. Clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.

– Avoid touching your face, eyes, mouth, or nose.

– Practice cough/sneeze etiquette, cover your nose and mouth when coughing and sneezing with tissue or a flexed elbow.

– Avoid close contact with anyone with cold or flu-like symptoms.

– Practice good operational practices – clean and sanitise work areas, offices, breakroom areas, and food preparation surfaces. 

All workers have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and to not adversely affect the health and safety of others. 

 

Wanless Point of Contact 

Wanless Waste Management will provide workers with a point of contact to report their conditions, discuss their concerns, and access to support services, including employee assistance programs. For further information please contact Peter Toole – Landfill Manager on 0408 278 439

 

Wanless Employee Responsibilities 

Under WHS laws, workers and other people at Wanless workplaces are required to comply, so far as they are reasonably able, with a reasonable instruction given by their employer to allow Wanless to comply with the WHS laws. This means that workers are required to comply with a direction by Wanless Management, including, to remain away from their usual place of work, if they were reasonably able to and the instruction was reasonable in the circumstances. 

A worker has the right to cease work if there is a reasonable concern that they would be exposed to a serious risk to their health and safety from an immediate or imminent hazard. As an employee of Wanless Waste Management you are responsible for informing management as soon as you can that you have ceased work. Any workers who have ceased work must also, under consultation with Wanless management be available to carry out suitable alternative work. 

If any employee requires assistance or has any further questions do not hesitate to contact Wanless Management. 

Managing Director: Dean Wanless

Date: 18/03/2020

 

General Information About COVID-19 

According to the World Health Organisation, COVID-19 is a new strain of Coronavirus that has not been previously identified in humans. It is spread from someone infected with COVID-19 virus to other close contacts through contaminated droplets spread by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with contaminated hands, surfaces or objects. 

Person to person spread of Coronaviruses generally occurs between people who are close contacts with one another. A “close contact” is typically someone who has been face to face for at least 15 minutes, or been in the same closed space for at least 2 hours, with a person that was infectious. 

The time between when a person is exposed to the virus and when symptoms first appear is typically 5 to 6 days, although may range from 2 to 14 days. For this reason, people who might have been in contact with a confirmed case are being asked to self-isolate for 14 days. 

Most COVID-19 cases appear to be spread from people who have symptoms. A small number of people may have been infectious before their symptoms developed. 

According to the World Health Organization, it is not certain how long the virus that causes COVID-19 survives on surfaces. Studies suggest that coronaviruses may persist on surfaces for a few hours or up to several days. This may vary under different conditions (e.g. type of surface, temperature or humidity of the environment). 

What are the Symptoms? 

Patients may have fever, cough, runny nose, shortness of breath and other symptoms. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia with severe acute respiratory distress. 

What is the Difference Between COVID-19 and the Flu? 

The first symptoms of COVID-19 and influenza (flu) infections are often very similar. They both cause fever and similar respiratory symptoms, which can then range from mild through to severe disease, and sometimes can be fatal. 

Both viruses are also transmitted in the same way, by coughing or sneezing, or by contact with hands, surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus. As a result, the same public health measures, such as hand hygiene (hand washing), good respiratory etiquette (coughing into your elbow or into a tissue and immediately disposing of the tissue) and good household cleaning are important actions to prevent both infections. 

The speed of transmission is an important difference between the two viruses. Influenza typically has a shorter incubation period (the time from infection to appearance of symptoms) than COVID-19. This means that influenza can spread faster than COVID-19. 

While the range of symptoms for the two viruses is similar, the fraction with severe disease appears to be higher for COVID-19. While most people have mild symptoms, approximately 15% of people have severe infections and 5% require intensive care in a hospital ICU. The proportions of severe and critical COVID-19 infections are higher than for influenza infections. 

 

References:

https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/doc/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-employers

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/alerts/Pages/coronavirus-faqs.aspx

https://www.fairwork.gov.au/about-us/news-and-media-releases/website-news/coronavirus-and-australian-workplace-laws