Category twelve - Best response to the COVID-19 pandemic in work health and safety
Inside Travel Group is a travel company that focuses on sending Australian clients to Asia. COVID-19 travel restrictions and international border closures essentially meant Inside Travel Group changed from a fast-paced business environment with fantastic year on year growth, to an incoming profit of zero. During COVID-19, Inside Travel Group had to reduce staff hours, downsize out of their office space, establish a robust work from home environment, keep staff morale high and ensure customers were kept satisfied.
Tim Oakes, Inside Travel Group’s Branch Manager, ensured that the office reopening was managed in the safest way possible. Tim adhered to Queensland Government guidelines and added additional measures to be extra cautious and safe. Tim set the following foundations which he fed down to managers and the greater team including:
- measuring the physical distance between workstations to ensure that staff were at a safe distance from one another
- enacting a strict visitor policy, which included a healthy stock of masks to keep up with the mandate
- funding a continuous stock of RATs that staff were free to take and use at their ease, recommending staff test before coming into the office
- ensuring all workstations, common areas and entrances had hand sanitiser
- identifying high touch areas in the office and ensuring they were cleaned each day
- delegating the purchasing of cleaning supplies and all staff took responsibility in keeping cleaning supplies in stock
- working closely with IT to devise a work from home safety standard
- setting up counselling relationships with local counsellors for free anonymous counselling.
These measures exceeded the team’s expectations and created a much-needed sense of comfort when heading back into the public workspace.