Latest COVID-19 advice 6 April 2020

COVID-19 Latest Safety Advice April 6th 2020

There are now 11 confirmed cases of the COVID-19 virus within the Australia Post workforce. Seven of which have not been at work and therefore don’t present as a risk to others. However, the remaining four are in NSW. Kingsgrove Delivery, Sydney Gateway Facility and Sydney Parcel Facility and have been at work and, along with their close contacts, have been directed to self-isolate in accordance with the government requirements. Those affected workplaces have also undergone a strict ‘deep clean’. Thankfully no workplace cases have been reported in Victoria as yet

Since the COVID-19 epidemic started in Australia, your branch has worked to ensure Work Health and Safety measures with the employer groups who employ our members. Some of the measures sought from Australia Post to protect against the threat of COVID-19 to members, your families and the communities you service include: minimising your physical contact with your customers; compliance with the government’s requirements for social distancing, within indoor facilities; the urgent provision of personal protective equipment (PPE); and a genuine disinfecting of hard surfaces and frequently handled equipment within your workplaces.

Members are providing a critical and essential service to the public – but need to be able to do so safely. Members must comply, so far as they are reasonably able to, with any reasonable instructions given and to cooperate with any reasonable policy subject to circumstances where they have a reasonable concern about an imminent risk to their health and safety. And whilst we recognise Australia Post’s response to heightened risk so far, and appreciate the difficulties they have confronted in procurement of PPE to mitigate against an imminent risk to your health and safety, in some areas this response has been inadequate.

Your branch is strongly advising members to follow the below, to take reasonable care for his or her own health and safety and to take reasonable care that his or her acts or omissions do not adversely affect the health and safety of other persons.

Doing so ensures compliance with your obligations under the Fair Work Act 2009 and Section 28 of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011

Members responsible for the delivery of articles to a customer’s premises and/or the operation of a vehicle on public roads, who have not been provisioned with a personal portable supply of hand sanitiser should:

 Avoid undertaking delivery of any article to any home or business location if such a delivery requires the member to handle or touch any hard surface – including, but not limited to: door handles, letterboxes, parcel lockers, intercoms, security keypads and elevator buttons;

Avoid re-fuelling their vehicle should such act require the handling or touching of any hard surface – including, but not limited to: fuel pumps and EFTPOS facilities – unless sanitiser, gloves or other PPE is made available by the re-fuelling establishment for use by the public or the establishment has suitable public handwashing facilities.

Members required to undertake any duties in an indoor facility should not continue to work in the facility if, by doing so they:

  1. Breach the government’s requirement to limit persons in an indoor venue to 1 person per 4 square metres of floor space;
  2. Breach the government’s requirement to remain at least 1.5 metres away from people not residing in your household.

Members required to undertake any duties within an indoor facility should not continue to work in an area that:

  1. Does not have an adequate and easy to access supply of hand sanitiser;
  2. Does not have an adequate and easy to access supply of disinfectant wipes to sanitise equipment before and after your required use of that equipment.

                   … and where they have a reasonable concern about a risk to their health an safety.

Members must notify their supervisor on each occasion in which they are unable to perform their duties due to their reasonable concern about an imminent risk to their health and safety, and must not unreasonably fail to comply with a direction to perform alternate duties that are safe and appropriate to perform. Members should also advise their OHS Rep/Shop Steward and/or Organiser of such pro

 It is unlawful for any representative of Australia Post to threaten your employment or withhold your wages for any period in which you complied with the above advice – which is reasonable, lawful and ensures your compliance with the relevant Acts. Such unlawful behaviour is subject to significant penalties, not only against employers, but any individual management representative involved. Your branch will actively pursue prosecutions for each occasion in which a member is subjected to such unlawful behaviour.

Any member subjected to any such threats should contact us on 9387 0189 immediately or contact your organiser directly.

                    Please place on Union Noticeboard

Leroy Lazaro
Secretary CWU Vict