Category twelve - Best response to the COVID-19 pandemic in work health and safety
Sunwater employs 550 staff including 200 employed regionally to operate 19 dams and 1,951 kilometres of pipeline. Sunwater manage the storing, capturing and delivering of around 40 per cent of the water used commercially in Queensland to more than 5,000 customers. With immediate travel restrictions and ever evolving rules, Sunwater proactively identified critical essential workers and infrastructure to ensure 24/7 365-day delivery to their customers so they would not be impacted by COVID-19.
- implementation and management of accommodation camps, travel and interaction of contracted workers from different states to Queensland
- flexibility in working arrangements for all staff across all locations to minimise interaction with other staff and the public
- digitising and simplifying health and safety processes including more interactive solutions such as Sharepoint
- increasing the number of remote locations
- implementing a voluntary vaccination register to increase workplace engagement
- providing free face marks for employees and their families
- identifying and organising RATs as a control, prior to community usage, and making them available for employees and their families
- implementing social distancing and workplace controls such as Perspex screens, restricting room capacity, and on arrival temperature checks as employees returned to work
- ensuring communication from multiple touch points depending on the risk level of communication.
Throughout all the changes and adaptations across Queensland, Sunwater implemented a traffic light system to provide staff with the earliest communication and clarification of intentions:
- Green: new normal
- Yellow: localised cluster or outbreak
- Amber: impacts on Sunwater people and services.
Controls associated with each light were separated by business functions, offices, cleaning of office rooms, vehicles and plant and travel outside of a Sunwater region.