The global coronavirus pandemic has changed our way of life and the way we work in an unprecedented way and like the community, Origin is doing everything we can to help minimise the spread of the virus.
As a provider of essential services like natural gas, power and LPG, Origin feels a particular responsibility. We need to maintain a reliable supply of gas for our customers, many of which are critical service providers themselves such as hospitals and aged care facilities. We also want to keep supporting jobs and contributing to the regional economy.
Gas industry jobs are vital at a time where many other industries have been impacted by a sharp downturn in activity and we hope that by working alongside the community, we can help shield regional economies from the worst economic impacts of coronavirus.
Our focus is making sure we do this in a way that protects the health and safety of our people and the communities in which we operate. We have implemented a range of actions to help us do this and make sure we are doing our bit to help to slow the spread of the virus among Australians.
We will keep assessing our measures and continue to evolve them in line with the latest advice from government and health authorities to ensure we can keep operations running.
We have taken a range of precautions to minimise the risk of our employees being exposed to COVID-19 when they travel to site to commence their shifts from other parts of Queensland or other states:
- All international travel and non-essential domestic travel suspended. Origin has been supporting people returning from international travel to self-isolate for 14 days since February.
- Replacement of scheduled services with charter flights for all regional fly in fly out travel to ensure we can achieve social distancing each flight by limiting passenger numbers.
- Seating arrangements on charter flights and buses that maintain social distance between passengers.
- All camp accommodation is single occupant. Rooms are sanitised between occupants.
- Vehicles equipped with hygiene kits.
All employees able to work from home are now doing so. To protect our employees who continue to work in our gas operations in roles critical to maintaining energy supply, we have implemented the following measures:
- Pre-mobilisation health declarations and temperature checks.
- Strict social distancing measures, including more than two metres between desks in operational areas.
- Meetings conducted on the phone or online wherever possible.
- Segregated shifts and virtual handovers.
- A range of assistance is available for Origin employees if their ability to work is impacted including flexible work arrangements, identifying suitable alternative duties, and a newly created pandemic leave policy with up to two weeks of paid leave available to employees which can be taken for a range of reasons, including carer’s responsibilities.
- Social distancing is being enforced in common areas, including mess halls.
- Individually packaged food and beverage available for takeaway service.
- Facilities, including gyms, have been closed. Other facilities adapted to meet social distancing requirements.
- Dedicated areas for self-isolation if required.
Safely working with landholders
Origin is now conducting meetings with landholders over the phone or video conference, instead of in person. We have also asked landholders not to approach any workers or contractors about drilling or other work occurring on their property and to instead phone or email their local Origin representative.
These measures will help us protect the health and safety of landholders and their families, and ensure we can also minimise disruption to work occurring on their property.
Sponsorships and donations
Origin’s support for our regional communities will continue through our existing sponsorship programs. However, the way we can support you during this period will change in line with social distancing measures put in place by state and federal governments.
- For now, we are unable to support events, projects or programs that do not comply with state and federal government social distancing directives and attendee/participant limits.
- Existing commitments to sponsorships and donations such as funding, provision of marquees and signage will be honoured.
- We have made the difficult decision to suspend all volunteering support until further notice.
- If a community event is cancelled or postponed, funding will be suspended until it goes ahead. However, if you have incurred out of pocket expenses, Origin will consider the use of the agreed sponsorship allocation to support these expenses on a case by case basis.
We thank the community for its patience and support as we work through these unprecedented challenges together.