Coronavirus Resources for Vegetable Growers

As the coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread around the world and we begin to see a growing number of cases in the Australian community, it is important that employers and employees consider their Workplace Health and Safety obligations in the event of a COVID-19 diagnosis or potential exposure in the workplace.

While employers have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of their workers and other people at the workplace – as far as practicably possible, employees also have obligations. Limiting the spread and the impact of this virus is a social responsibility that is only as strong as its weakest link.

vegetablesWA will be updating this page of resources daily to provide growers with the most up to date information as it comes to hand. We encourage you to add this page to your bookmarks/favourites on your computer or smartphone and direct your questions to comms@vegetableswa.com.au

THREE DAY LOCKDOWN FOR PERTH AND PEEL

On Friday April 23 Premier Mark McGowan announced a three-day lockdown for Perth and the Peel region.

The lockdown will start at midnight on Friday, April 23 after a Victorian man became the third person to be infected with the highly transmissible UK strain while staying at the Mercure Hotel Perth.

Mr McGowan said the man visited tourist spots and venues including Kings Park, Northbridge and St Catherine’s College. A friend, who is a close contact of the man, has already returned a positive result.

  • During the long weekend lockdown, people will only be able to leave home for work, shopping for essential items, medical and healthcare needs and exercise.
  • Those exercising will only be able to do so with a maximum of four people for an hour and must wear masks.
  • Weddings and funerals will be allowed, but will be limited to 100 people, not including staff. Masks must be worn by all guests.
  • Anzac Day services across Perth and the Peel region will be cancelled and people are being urged to instead take part in driveway services.

Testing locations are available on the Healthy WA website.
Visit the WA Government COVID-19 coronavirus page for updates.

MANDATORY CONTACT REGISTERS EXPANDED TO KEEP WA SAFE

You must use the free SafeWA app phone app to register your attendance at various businesses and venues.

Failing to comply with these requirements could result in penalties of up to $50,000 for an individual and $250,000 for a body corporate, or 12 months’ imprisonment. You will need to use the app at retail venues, including supermarkets, department stores, shopping centres, pharmacies, hardware and department stores.

Contact tracing is one of the most effective measures in controlling the spread of COVID-19 if a community outbreak occurs and ensures potential chains of transmission are interrupted. Visit website

Health

LATEST HEALTH INFORMATION
Australian Government Health Department information on monitoring and responding to the outbreak, how you can help slow the spread of COVID-19 in Australia, and what to do if you have symptoms. Also the latest official medical advice and case numbers. Visit website

IDENTIFYING THE SYMPTOMS OF CORONAVIRUS
A useful poster to put up in the lunchroom to help staff identify Coronavirus symptoms verses the common cold and seasonal flu. Visit website

FEELING ISOLATED AND SOCIAL DISTANDING
If you are feeling anxious about social distancing and working from home, The Australian Psychological Society has prepared some tips on dealing with anxiety around coronavirus, and maintaining mental health if needing to physically isolate. Visit website

LOOKING AFTER YOUR MENTAL HEALTH
Beyond Blue recognises and understands the feelings of anxiety, distress and concern many people may be experiencing in relation to the coronavirus (COVID-19) and offers some valuable wellbeing advice. Visit website

Covid Clinics

People are encouraged to get tested if they have symptoms and if people have been to an exposure site, they must go and get tested.

Who should attend?
People will only be tested if they have fever and/or respiratory symptoms such as shortness of breath, cough or sore throat AND documented evidence of:
overseas travel in the last 14 days (provide boarding pass or flight booking or airline bag tag with name and date of travel) OR
close contact of a confirmed COVID-19 case (provide name of case)
Patients who are tested should remain isolated at home, until they receive their test results and further medical advice.

Who should avoid?
Do not attend unless you have symptoms AND meet the above criteria, including documented evidence.
People presenting at COVID clinics may be infectious.
People who don’t have symptoms and evidence will be turned away and asked to self-monitor for symptoms.

When and where
WA COVID clinic operating hours will be extended as part of a testing surge.
Testing locations and times can be viewed here https://www.healthywa.wa.gov.au/Articles/A_E/COVID-clinics

Workforce Resources

MINIMISING RISK IN THE WORKPLACE
Factsheet for employers on how to manage workplaces and employees to minimise the risk from Coronavirus including guidelines about which staff should be sent home from work, briefing staff on the situation, cleaning precautions and preventing the spread of coronavirus. Visit website

SANITATION IN THE FOOD INDUSTRY
Under the Australia New Zealand Food Standards Code, food businesses must maintain clean and sanitised facilities and food contact surfaces. This is especially important for ensuring food safety, and meeting consumer expectations at a time when there are concerns about food safety and the transmission of the virus responsible for COVID-19 in the workplace. Download guide

7 STEPS TO SAFE SHOPPING FOR FRUIT & VEGETABLES
Actions for consumers. Download poster

7 STEPS TO REDUCE COVID-19 TRANSMISSION
Actions for the food industry. Download poster

PROTECTING YOUR WORKFORCE CHECKLIST
This checklist has been developed by PMA A-NZ to assist business in the fresh produce industry better manage teams in the unique environments of harvesting and packing fresh produce. It covers packing sheds, workforce, accommodation, transport etc. Download checklist

SAFETY ADVICE FOR EMPLOYERS
The Safe Work Australia has detailed advice for employers regarding Covid-19.  Employer responsibility is to minimise the risk of the virus in the work place.  If an new person arrives at your workplace, within the next 14-days, you may request to see information that proves the person has concluded their self-isolation.  This could be through their plane ticket, stamp in passport or hotel bill indicating that they have been in Australia longer than the self-isolation period.  Visit website

AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT HEALTH DEPARTMENT
Australian Government Health Department information and resources in various languages for workplaces. Visit website

CENTRE FOR DISEASE CONTROL AND PREVENTION
Information sheets and posters for growers in various languages to display in the workplace. The following link will provide growers translated COVID19 information sheets and posters to hand out to their workers. Click on the link below to access pdf documents available from the CDC site. Visit website

KEY ISSUES FOR AUSTRALIAN WORKPLACES
The COVID-19 outbreak is evolving day by day and WA needs to be prepared for a range of outcomes. While each business faces its own challenges, some key considerations can help build your business’s resilience and protect your community. Download PDF

Human Resources

UNDERSTANDING YOUR PRIVACY OBLIGATIONS TO YOUR STAFF
The Office of the Australian Information Commissioner (OAIC) has produced some guidelines on what employers are able to disclose to workers due to Covid-19. Visit website

FAIR WORK OMBUDSMAN
Fair Work Ombudsman on guidance regarding sending workers home, leave entitlements and reduction of hours. This is for employers that pay under the Federal system. Visit website

DEPARTMENT OF MINES, INDUSTRY REGULATIONS AND SAFETY
Department of Mines, Industry Regulations and Safety covers the employers that are under the WA IR system. Updates are being placed on their website regarding work rights and entitlements, employer obligations and redundancies. Visit website

DEPARTMENT OF HOME AFFAIRS
Department of Home Affairs provides updates for visa holders regarding conditions on their visa, rules regarding where they can work and who is allowed to enter Australia. This website also has advice on what visa holders should do if their visa is due to expire shortly. Employers utilising workers on visas should ascertain their expiry date and provide this link to the visa holder to ensure they stay lawful. Visit website

SMALL BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CORPORATION
Small Business Development Corporation is available to assist. This service is provided by the WA government to help businesses with timely advice. Visit website

COVID-19 SAFEGUARDS FOR WHMS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Download the Working Holiday Makers/Employer Declaration Form here

Working Holiday Makers must adhere to the same COVID-19 risk mitigation measures and directives that apply to all other persons in Western Australia. Failure to do so will result in penalties. The latest advice on WA’s COVID-19 risk mitigation measures and directives is available online and in languages other than English.

Working Holiday Makers will be expected to:

  • familiarise themselves with the safety measures in place in the workplace to minimise the risk of spread of the COVID-19 virus.
  • secure accommodation of a standard to allow for appropriate hygiene and physical distancing practices. Advice on physical distancing can be found here.
  • advise employers of the address of their accommodation.
  • if employed in agriculture, sign an employee/employer declaration form acknowledging they understand their obligations.

https://www.dpird.wa.gov.au/securing-labour-supply

WORKER DISCLOSURE FORM
vegetablesWA recommends that you require all workers to fill in a worker disclosure form before starting work on your farm. Download template

UNDERSTAND YOUR OBLIGATIONS TO WORKERS DURING COVID-19
Fairwork: Coronavirus and Australian workplace laws. Visit website
WA Government: Employment impacted by covid-19 coronavirus. Visit website

GROWCOM
Coronavirus and the Workplace – Its EVERYONE’S Responsibility
This document explains what growers must do right now in their workplace, as well as their obligations to employees, including workers compensation. Visit website

RESOURCES FROM EMPLOYSURE

Translation Resources

VIETNAMESE TRANSLATION

Vietnamese translations of health.gov.au posters and resources. Visit website

Advice on what to do if you have been overseas recently, to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Vietnamese. Visit website

Good hand washing practices to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Vietnamese. Visit website

Simple steps you can take to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in Vietnamese. Visit website

Good hygiene practices when coughing and sneezing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in Vietnamese. Visit website

Food Safety and Quality Assurance

FOOD SAFETY & QUALITY INCIDENT MANAGEMENT
This factsheet highlights areas your business should focus on during the COVID-19 pandemic such as:
Managing people within your business
Food Safety Instructions – Health Declaration COVID-19
Hygiene
Cleaning and sanitation
Sourcing from alternate suppliers (emergency supplies)
Travel restrictions and biosecurity considerations
Worker training
Download here

FOOD SAFETY & QUALITY FORM: F10 FOOD SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS INSERT – HEALTH DECLARATION (COVID-19).
Freshcare has developed this additional form to help you induct workers and visitors entering your site, and highlight restrictions in place in response to COVID-19.
Download here

UPDATE FROM GLOBAL G.A.P.
GLOBAG.A.P. has published Corona FAQs, you can find them here: https://www.globalgap.org/uk_en/media-events/news/corona-virus-updates/faq/

FRESHCARE DELIVER INDUSTRY ADVICE
Information on specific Freshcare Standards. Visit website

Trade

INFORMATION FOR AUSTRALIAN BUSINESSES INVOLVED IN TRADE
The Export Council of Australia (ECA) is collecting information and resources to help Australian businesses involved in trade prepare for and mitigate any effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on business. Visit website

NATIONAL FARMERS FEDERATION: UPDATE
Key export constraints remain access to freight and the cost of freight which has become prohibitive for some fresh food exporters. Some commodity groups are chartering flights to transport produce. Austrade can assist with linking exporters with these initiatives. Please contact Pru Gordon (pgordon@nff.org.au) for the contact details of the relevant Austrade person.