News

Preparing for COVID-19

McColl’s COVID-19 communication 13 March 2020

We have been working hard to get prepared for the arrival of the Coronavirus COVID-19.

You will have seen on the news that it is growing in Australia and that the authorities now consider it inevitable that it will spread widely in our population.  The government has moved from a policy of trying to stop the virus to trying to slow its transmission rate.  This means that large parts of Australia will start a process of “social distancing”.

Social distancing means what it says – people keeping away from each other at every opportunity.  We have seen this around the world with large scale canceled events and travel bans.  This is seen as a way to stop the hospitals becoming overwhelmed with people who have bad cases of the virus.

Our goal is to keep our people safe while keeping our business running through these difficult times. For the different types of roles in McColl’s this will mean different things.  Below we have explained how we plan to work for the next period and why we have chosen this approach for each role.

General precautions that apply to everyone: (subject to change based on government advice)

Wash hands regularly with soap throughout the day

Don’t touch your face

Keep a distance of at least 2 metres from other people throughout the working day

Self-quarantine if you come into close contact (eg. family member) with anyone who tests positive for the COVID-19 virus

Seek medical help (starting with testing) if you start to develop symptoms of the virus

Follow medical advice and gain a doctor’s clearance before returning to work if you catch the virus.

We have protective equipment and wipes at our branches but if we run out, any employee will be reimbursed on presentation of a receipt for more cleaning materials or protective supplies for work.

Drivers:

Drivers spend most of their days in isolation from other humans as they are in their trucks. When they arrive at customer sites they usually have no need to be physically close to anyone.  Their main risks are in touching surfaces which could have the COVID-19 virus on them (steering wheels, door handles, counter tops, pens, clip boards, paperwork, pump control switches etc.)

To manage the risk of infection and transmission at work we ask drivers to:

Wipe the touch points in their trucks/tankers with cleaning wipes at the start and end of every shift.

Don’t touch equipment and other high contact areas with your bare hands.

Mechanics and wash bay staff:

Mechanics spend most of their days in well ventilated environments (workshops). In normal working conditions, they have no need to be physically close to anyone.  Their main risks are in touching surfaces which could have the COVID-19 virus on them (tools, steering wheels, door handles, counter tops, pens, clip boards, paperwork, pump control switches etc.)

To manage the risk of infection and transmission at work we ask mechanics to:

Wipe the touch points in trucks/tankers with cleaning wipes at the start and end of every shift.

Use gloves when touching equipment in the workshops (including touch screens).

Wipe workshop touchscreens and other high-touch areas regularly throughout the day with cleaning wipes.

Office staff:

Office people spend most of their days in enclosed environments. Their main risks are in human-human contact in the office and touching surfaces which could have the COVID-19 virus on them (desks, computers, door handles, counter tops, pens, clip boards, paperwork, light switches etc.)

To manage the risk of infection and transmission we have some special plans:

We will increase the amount of remote work (ie. encouraging people to work away from the office)

To do this we have set up new extra laptops that will allow people to keep doing their jobs remotely

We have asked everyone to put their mobile numbers in the company Microsoft Exchange address book so that we can keep in contact with people who are working remotely

We will start with a few people working remotely and increase this as our disciplines become more mature

We will still have some people from each team working in Geelong, Altona, Prestons and Tongala – we don’t need the offices to be empty, just more sparsely populated to reduce the risk of infection

Each team will set up some daily conference calls and working disciplines that allow us to be as coordinated as we can be under these conditions

We ask people who are working in offices to follow these extra disciplines to reduce the risk of infection and transmission of the COVID-19 virus.

Do not have face to face meetings indoors

Always maintain a minimum distance of 2 metres to every other person that you come in contact with

Wipe desks, keyboards and other high-touch areas regularly throughout the day with cleaning wipes

Use gloves if you are handling paperwork or other materials that may have been touched by others

We are working together to make the best of a bad situation here.  Our goal is to keep the company operating safely in the face of a major public health crisis.   Various levels of government will change policy at short notice and this may add extra constraints to our efforts.

This will be a test of how well we can work as a team.  Please be patient with each other and the other customers and suppliers that we work with so that we can all give ourselves the best chance of survival.

We will update this website link as we have more news to share.

Good luck and stay healthy.

Simon