As the scale and consequences of the COVID-19 Coronavirus Global pandemic continue to evolve and the New South Wales and Australian Governments begin to relax and reduce the restrictions that were placed on Australians and the business community at the height of the crisis, in order to prevent the further spread of infection, Burtenshaw Scoufis Architecture (BSA) have developed a strategy to facilitate the safe return of staff to their workplace.
With the safety and wellbeing of our staff, clients, subconsultants, suppliers and contractors being paramount and being mindful of the guidance being given by the World Health Organisation, our Federal and State Governments, State and Local Authorities and SafeWork Australia we are determined to provide the necessary safe working environment by implementing and enforcing the following Risk Management conditions: –
We are actively incorporating the advice applicable to our work environments and enforcing appropriate safety protocols. The following actions and precautionary measures are being taken or implemented: –
Our workers and business associates must self-quarantine if they have:
- Travelled overseas in the past 14 days, or
- Been in contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19.
Those workers who need to self-quarantine should notify a director and seek immediate medical attention if they become ill during the quarantine period. Provisions shall be made for flexible work arrangements where practicable.
Preventing the spread of infection at work
The following simple hygiene practices, like those used to protect against flu, should be observed to help prevent the spread of COCID-19 and other respiratory infections:
- Clean your hands regularly with soap and water or with your own alcohol-based hand sanitiser or that provided by BSA in our office.
- Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or bent elbow when coughing or sneezing, dispose of tissues immediately after use and wash your hands or apply hand sanitiser.
- Avoid shaking hands or touching your face nose and mouth.
- Avoid contact with anyone who is unwell and try to stay at least 1.5 metres away from anyone coughing and sneezing.
- Maintain the social distancing protocols imposed by the relevant health authorities.
- Observe public gathering protocols imposed by the health authorities.
- Stay home if you are unwell.
For our Office:
- Hand washing facilities have been provided and these will be kept clean, well-stocked and in good order.
- Hand sanitisers, tissues and cleaning supplies have been provided for use by staff and visitors.
- The directors will actively encourage staff to observe good, common sense hygiene practices.
- We have enhanced our office cleaning protocol and increased the frequency.
- Staff with symptoms of a respiratory disorder are to remain at home.
- Staff who become unwell with respiratory symptoms will be directed to return home and seek medical attention. We shall arrange transport home. They will then be required to remain home until they have recovered.
- If a staff member is confirmed to have COVID-19 he/she shall inform co-workers about their possible exposure to the virus.
- We should continue to communicate with our clients, subconsultants and contractors by conventional electronic means or otherwise collaborate using available online tools such as Skype, Teams
- Site inspections pose risks for all involved including our staff and site personnel. Consequently we should seek client and building contractor directions and approval before attending project sites and only when essential.
Personal protective equipment
Guidance for use of PPE is available at www.health.gov.au. Face masks are not currently recommended for use by healthy members of the public but should be worn by those infected by COVID-19.
We have engaged and worked with an expert and experienced electronics/computer backup organisation for over ten years. This company has installed fail safe back up procedures including multiple remote storage facilities which they constantly monitor and administer. They provide ongoing informed services to our company and we communicate with them regularly.
Power Supply Security
We have recently upgraded and enhanced our power supply mains and installed a new main switch board to provide future flexibility and to guarantee continuity of power supply.
Remote Video Conferencing
Our office is equipped with a Microsoft Teams based video conferencing facility, which allows us to organise a meeting as administrator, share remote content and present with good quality audio. All our staff are also equipped with laptops and webcams to participate in meetings remotely when required. We have successfully migrated to remote meetings with our University and commercial clients and have continued to operate efficiently on this basis without project delays. We have also been able to display digital content in a clear and concise manner through the Teams platform.
Remote Access for Staff Working from Home
All staff are equipped with laptop computers with appropriate capacity and all necessary software. Their home personal computers have been specifically set up with remote desktop functionality by our IT service provider to facilitate direct access to our office servers and to ensure their effective and efficient operation from home.
Our practice Directors and senior staff have had a significant number of years supplying architectural services to the construction industry and our many Institutional, and other, clients will attest to our expertise, design excellence, professional ability, integrity and reliability. We will continue to carefully monitor prevailing conditions and, if circumstances change, update this policy where and as appropriate.