Common Area Work
The majority of Civil Fire’s work is in common areas (foyers, stairwells and carparks) of Class 2 buildings.
Our work typically involves minimal close contact with residents & the general public and is therefore considered low risk for COVID-19.
Common area work will continue during stage 1, with the introduction of the precautionary measures listed below.
Precautionary Measures (for common area work)
Prohibit anyone from coming to work if they are sick.
Civil Fire workers will not attend work if they are sick – even if symptoms are mild.
Practise social distancing when undertaking inspections & repairs.
Civil Fire workers will:
- Keep a distance of 1.5m between themselves and other people.
- Avoid touching other people, shaking hands etc.
- Avoid touching anything, other than what is strictly necessary to complete work.
- Limit the time spent in buildings to only what is strictly necessary to complete an inspection/repair.
Promote good respiratory hygiene in the workplace.
Civil Fire workers will cover their nose and mouth with a tissue if they cough or sneeze, and will throw soiled tissues in the bin then clean their hands with soap and water or sanitiser. If they don't have a tissue then they will cover their sneeze or cough with their elbow.
Promote regular and thorough hand washing.
Civil Fire workers will frequently wash hands their hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or use an alcohol-based hand rub.
Limited supply of sanitiser is currently available at Civil Fire head office (more has been ordered). Soap is readily available.
Personal Protective Equipment to be used as required.
Supplies of PPE are being sourced but are in short supply. Employees where ever possible should seek to purchase their own supplies and will be reimbursed for such purposes.
There is conflicting government advice regarding wearing PPE but wearing PPE does indicate a level of care and concern for the welfare of yourself and our customers.
If requested by a customer to wear PPE, do not be offended, and try to comply with any reasonable requests.
If the request is deemed unreasonable politely decline the request and take no further actions. Report the no access as COVID-19 related.
Disposable gloves: gloves can be donned to protect from surfaces. Gloves should be changed at regular intervals and removed and disposed of in a manner that does not contaminate the wearer or those in the vicinity.
Face masks: Although not recommended by the Government, face makes have been ordered, and will be made available to workers who wish to wear them, or to be worn on request of a resident.
Safety glasses: Safety glasses will be provided to employees. Glasses may serve as a reminder for our workers not to touch their faces.
Sanitiser: Hand and surface sanitiser should be applied at regular intervals.
Avoid touching faces after interacting with high touch surfaces.
High touch surfaces include: Phones, parking meters, door handles and the like.
Workers should avoid touching their face after interaction with high-touch surface until hands have been cleaned.
The use of a face-mask & googles may help remind workers not to touch their face.
Gathering of workers.
During this stage, Civil Fire workers should avoid gathering unnecessarily.
Workers assigned to the same job should, where possible, avoid all close contact.
INSPECTIONS & REPAIRS IN UNITS (SOUs)
During stage 1 – unless otherwise instructed by building management, inspections of fire safety measures inside SOUs will go ahead as scheduled. The precautionary measures outlined above for common area work will apply with the addition of the below precautionary measures.
Additional Precautionary Measures (for work in SOUs)
All measures listed above for common area work. Plus,
Verbal screening of residents prior to inspection / repair within SOU.
Before entering any SOU, and whilst maintaining more than 1.5m distance from the resident, Civil Fire workers will ask the resident:
“Are you in quarantine? Do you have any flu-like symptoms? Have you returned from overseas in the last 14 days?”
If the resident answers yes to any of the above questions, then our worker will decline to enter the SOU.
If the resident answers no to the above questions, our worker will then declare they are not experiencing any flu-like symptoms and will ask for permission to enter the SOU.
Minimise time spent & contact in SOU.
Limit the time spent in buildings to only what is strictly necessary to complete an inspection/repair.
Get in, get out – and avoid touching anything.
Avoid face-to-face conversations with residents.
NO ACCESS DUE TO SELF-ISOLATION & QUARANTINE
During this stage we anticipate an increase in no access rates due to COVID-19.
Residents may be in quarantine or may be self-isolating due to their age or compromised immune system.
If a resident does not wish to participate in inspection / repairs, then they should notify Civil Fire office via phone or email, or put a note on their door to inform our workers.
High levels of no access will be handled on a case-by-case scenario. Civil Fire will endeavour to be as lenient as possible in order to endorse fire safety measures for the purpose of the AFSS.
During stage 1, Civil Fire office staff can still work from head office. However, these people should ensure they are ready to work from home with 24 hours’ notice.
Preparation for working from home includes:
Ensuring staff have technological provisions, and
Planning work so that favourable business outcomes can still be achieved from home.
EMPLOYEES AT HIGHER RISK
In a risk assessment completed on 17th March 2020, Civil Fire Management identified 8 employees who may be at higher risk of adverse health outcomes from COVID-19.
Civil Fire Management will have one-on-one conversations with each of these workers to ensure they understand:
The nature & risks of the evolving virus.
The precautionary measures Civil Fire has put in place for work to continue, and
The choice they have to self-isolate if they wish.
Should any of these at-risk employees express the desire to self-isolate during this time, Civil Fire Management will work with them to ensure this can be achieved.