Our Response to COVID-19

Ecoplant and New Era Total like many businesses, are thoughtfully responding to the COVID-19 virus crisis. We recognise many people in our company and our communities are feeling uncertain about how things will unfold in the coming weeks and months. 

Our company is crafting its response based on the best advice available from the medical profession and the Australian and Queensland and New South Wales Governments. The unfolding crisis requires careful assessment of the risks from our activities to our people, customers and partners as well as the risks posed by others to our business.

Our response is contained in our COVID-19 Crisis Management Plan and Safe Work Method, both accessible below.

Despite the disruption and complexities arising from COVID-19 (coronavirus) – and the further disruptions to come – we’re working to ensure our operations remain open and available, and our commitments to our customers are met to the best of our ability. First and foremost, that means protecting our greatest asset – the health and safety of our staff – and that has required some changes in our operations.

To date, Ecoplant Australia and New Era Total, have taken the following steps to ensure the health and safety of our staff, our customers and our partners:

  • On Tuesday 24 March access to office were restricted to key personell and social distancing measures were put in place.
  • All international air traveland all domestic air travel have been suspended.
  • We’re scheduling phone or video meetings wherever possible, which is rapidly becoming the ‘new normal’ for Australian business.
  • External meetings should be conducted via online/digital channels. If it is essential that external parties are required to attend the office, this is to be assessed on case by case basis with the respective manger. If permission is granted the pre-meeting screening questions must be answered.
  • We have increased the frequency and intensity of cleaningat our assets and are actively promoting social distancing and personal hygiene for our staff, customers and partners.
  • We have plans in placeto rapidly respond to any incidence of COVID-19 at our offices, sites and will at all times act on the instructions of relevant authorities.
  • We have reviewed our internal and external event plansand revised, cancelled or postponed any events involving large gatherings.
  • Our staff will not attend any conferences, events or other professional gatherings, and we encourage and support those organisations who are seeking to deliver these events remotely.
  • Our offices and sales centres in NSW have been registered with the NSW Government as COVID Safe Businesses. This is a way of ensuring staff, and customers are aware of our commitment to ensuring a COVID safe environment within our workplaces and sales centres.
  • And naturally, any staff member who has flu-like symptoms is isolating themselvesfrom colleagues and customers. 

Our company is evaluating the full effect of the crisis on our business delivery and at this stage, we are confident we will continue operating with the safeguards in our Plan. This means we are not cancelling planned works; however, we will apply strict social distancing and hygiene measures at our office and workplaces. We do firmly request that anyone with cold or flu like symptoms does not attend work.

COVID 19 Crisis Management Plan 16 July 2020 

AUS Pandemic Phases

Explanation & Decision Triggers

Response Activities & Status

STATUS

     
ALERT OS3 A novel virus with pandemic potential causes severe disease in humans who have had contact with infected animals. There is no effective transmission between humans.   Monitor – Monitor media, World Health Organisation (WHO) and Australian Government health alerts.   
  Novel virus has not arrived in Australia     This phase is over and no longer relevant as at 19 March 2020 
       
 Delay – _OS4/5/6  Novel virus has not arrived in Australia.   Preparation – _Monitor all media, World Health Organisation (WHO), Australian and Queensland Government health alerts.  This phase is complete and actions for this phase are advanced with actions 1-8 and 11 completed; however, Ecoplant is currently implementing actions 9 and 10 
(Prevent arrival of Corona virus from infected areas to uninfected areas)  OS4     
  Small cluster of cases in one country overseas.  1. Confirm Government (State and Federal) case reporting requirements.   
  OS5  2. Review site and business crisis / incident response and business continuity preparedness.   
  Large cluster(s) of cases in only one or two countries overseas.  3. Commence regular communication and alerts to employees and hygiene education.   
  OS6  4. Review the need to purchase additional personal protective equipment, vaccinations, etc.   
  Large cluster(s) of cases in more than two countries overseas.  5. Reconsider need for international travel (pending international environment and WHO warnings) and protocols for returning overseas travellers.   
    6. Follow-up on suspected cases and self-quarantine.   
    7. Crisis Management Team/CEO regularly liaise with Nsw and Qld   
    8. Undertake assessment and readiness of personnel to work from home   
    9. Develop back-up plan for critical functions and personnel   
    10. Develop contingency plans with funders, partners and stakeholders.   
    11. Encourage healthy living, eating, exercise and offer flu vaccinations to personnel and directors to support immune system   
    12. Ensure the personal details register is fully updated   
       
Contain– Aus 6a Pandemic virus has arrived in Australia causing small number of cases and/or small number of clusters.  Mitigation – Monitor all media, World Health Organisation (WHO), Australian and Queensland Government health alerts.  The company is well advanced and all actions either implemented or ongoing. All personnel are aware of the evidence surrounding COVID-19 to date. 
(Reduce the rate and extent of the spread of Coronavirus within the community)    1. Maintain alerts to employees of increased possibility of a pandemic and actions to reduce risk of infection   
    2. Limit domestic travel   
    3. Offer remote working arrangements   
    4. Introduce additional cleaning and disinfecting in workplaces   
    5. If personnel member has travelled overseas in the last 14 days, needs to self-quarantine for a minimum of 14 days or take directions from the authorities. Managers to maintain regular comms with affected personnel   
       
       
    6. Personnel with cold or flu symptoms to self-quarantine at home and if showing any of the COVID-19 symptoms to obtain medical advice prior to returning to work by contacting contact 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84).   
    7. If an employee suspects they have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 they should not attend work until they have received and followed the medical advice that it is suitable to return.   
    8. Ensure all personnel are aware of any assistance   
    9. Continue preparation   
       
Manage – _Aus 6b(i)  Pandemic virus is established in Australia and spreading in the community.  Increase Mitigation  Australia in firmly in this phase. 
(Maintaining operational capacity whilst allowing for the treatment of personnel and family members)  Virus has arrived in Qld & Nsw and increasing numbers are being advised.  1. Introduce restrictions on visitor entry to the workplace in affected areas.  Each office has restrictions on entry based around social distancing as at 15 March 2020. Some events have been postponed due to the need for interstate travel for presenters. 
    2. Field visit preparations need to include a risk assessment, which also needs to include minimising human interactions by: a. undertaking advance verbal communications by phone with landholders  As at 19 March, Safe Work Method Statements have been developed and distributed to all personnel. 
    b. adhering to minimum recommended distancing from human interactions  Currently developing other components of the back-up and contingency planning including business issues such as cash flow and contract deliverable issues 
    c. practice regular and thorough handwashing  So domestic travel is now stopped unless there is an emergent reason. 
      All personnel have been offered the ability to work from.. 
    3. Unless with prior CEO/Manager approval, avoid all work-related: a. travel between offices  One person self isolated due to family members having suspected COVID-19. Both instances proved negative upon testing. 
    b. all domestic air and regional travel  Additional cleaning measures have been instituted in all offices. 
    c. Approved internal and external meetings need to follow the COVID-19 relevant Work Methods Statement and be approved in advance by CEO/Manager.  At this stage, instigating leave measures is not considered necessary. 
    d. Defer all face to face group training and provide through on-line platforms where feasible  All travel beyond immediate surrounds needs to be run past the CEO until further notice. 
    e. Provide options for personnel to work remotely.  Investigations have commenced on an appropriate employee assistance scheme as well a process to ensure all employees and their families are ok. 
    4. Prepare for closing offices including landlord directed closures and implementing minimum resource requirement.  Contingency planning is well advanced. 
    5. Confirm processes for landlord directed shutdowns   
    6. Protect equipment and assets that are deployed in the field.   
    7. Purchase health and cleaning consumables and PPE for an extended period   
    8. Continue additional cleaning and disinfecting protocols   
    9. Prepare rosters for essential workers to maintain critical business processes   
    10. Encourage non-essential employees to take leave if there is insufficient work   
    11. Initiate regular liaison with personnel, funders, partners and stakeholders   
    12. Personnel with colds or flu-quarantine at home until symptoms have finished and if showing any of the COVID-19 symptoms to obtain medical advice prior to returning to work by contacting 13 HEALTH (13 43 25 84) or your doctor.   
    13. If an employee suspects they have been in close contact with someone who has been diagnosed with COVID-19 they should not attend work until they have received and followed medical advice that it is suitable to return   
    14. Remind personnel of access to Employee Assistance   
    15. Finalise back-up and contingency planning including internal and external communications plans   
       
Manage – _Aus 6b(ii)  Pandemic virus is highly localised in southern Queensland  Mitigation Intensification  This phase has been implemented. Ecoplant is still carefully monitoring the situation as more clusters and cases evolve.
(Maintaining operational capacity whilst allowing for the treatment of personnel and family members)  Personnel member diagnosed with COVID-19  1. Implement back-up and contingency plans   
  Schools directed to close Government directed closure of workplaces and personal movement restrictions 2. Close affected offices and all personnel to work remotely   
  Critical element of this phase is to ensure containment and safety and wellbeing of our personnel, partners, contractors, clients, customers and communities  3. Enforce use of personal protective equipment and protective barriers for employees undertaking field work   
    4. Immediately protect equipment and assets that are deployed in the field.   
    5. Disinfect offices prior to re-opening   
    6. Direct non-essential employees to take leave or be paid through other government programs if accessible.   
    7. Managers to maintain daily contact with diagnosed or suspected cases of the virus.   
    8. Employee Assistance services provided   
       
Control– Aus 6c Government advises the pandemic in Australia is nearing its end and/or customised pandemic vaccine widely available and is beginning to bring the pandemic under control.  Stabilisation  Not in this stage yet
  Critical element of this phase is to ensure Government advice on safety is implemented should the pandemic be declared over  1. CEO advise personnel announcing the day and time, which offices will be re-opened   
    2. CEO to outline opening process for each office   
    3. Develop business recovery plans   
    4. Non-essential workers directed to stay at home.   
       
Recover – _Aus 6d  Pandemic controlled in Australia but further waves may occur if the virus drifts and/or is re-imported into Australia.  Recover  Not in this stage yet
  Critical element is to get the company back to full operation  1. Confirm register of employees who contract the virus and likely to develop immunity.   
    2. Encourage employees with immunity to return to work   
    3. Implement plan for resumption of full business capacity.   
    4. Arrange vaccination to provide protection against next possible wave.   

Our company is evaluating the full effect of the crisis on our business delivery and at this stage, we are confident we will continue operating with the safeguards in our Plan. This means we are not cancelling planned works; however, we will apply strict social distancing and hygiene measures at our office and workplaces. We do firmly request that anyone with cold or flu like symptoms does not attend work.