19 March 2020
Today I am writing to provide you with further information about how we are responding to COVID-19 and the steps everyone must take to ensure we continue to manage risks arising from this pandemic appropriately and proportionately.
As you know, the health and safety of our workforce is our number one priority. At this point in time, I can confirm we have not recorded any cases of COVID-19 among the Whitehaven workforce.
However, given the increased rates of COVID-19 being reported in Australia, we have begun to implement a number of measures designed to keep our people safe and limit viral transmission. These include:
- Banning non-essential domestic and international air travel (from today Corporate Travel will not be processing any travel requests unless approved by an EGM)
- Implementing work from home practices for employees in non-operational or non-business critical roles
- Crediting Special Personal (Sick or Carer’s) Leave up to an amount to cover your rostered days over one consecutive 14 calendar day period where this is required (e.g. if you have exhausted your Personal Leave but need to self-isolate)
Hand-washing and observing good hygiene is one of the best ways we can all help stem the spread of this virus and you may have noticed some changes in the workplace in this regard.
Please remember to:
- Practice good hygiene
- Tell your supervisor and self-isolate if you think you’ve been exposed
- Continue to work as normally as possible but preference phone and video meetings ahead of face-to-face meetings
- Reschedule, use phone or video facilities if you’re expecting visitors to site – or talk to your supervisor about getting approval to hold a meeting
- Let your supervisor know your current phone and e-mail so we can keep you up to date in this evolving situation
Most importantly, if you feel unwell, stay home and seek medical advice.
Further information can be found in Whitehaven’s COVID-19 Frequently Asked Questions document. Remember, if you are a contractor, you must comply with our health and safety requirements.
These are unprecedented times and we understand people may be feeling anxious.
Senior Management is working closely with the Executive Leadership Team on the response to COVID-19. A Trigger Action Response Plan (TARP) has been developed and will be posted on noticeboards at sites. We are currently at Level 1 across all sites. If you have any questions about the TARP, please ask your supervisor. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and manage any new risks as they emerge.
Remember, this is a time to work together as a team and diligently follow hygiene and social distancing practices, while continuing to work as normally as possible.
If you have any concerns at this time, please speak with your supervisor. And please, look out for your teammates.
Managing Director and CEO