Tellus prioritises safety and health of its people and contractors in response to COVID-19

  • On : March 23, 2020

Tellus Holdings Ltd (Tellus) today outlined the steps it is taking to maintain the safety of its workforce and continuity of its projects in the face of the global spread of COVID-19. Most of these steps have been underway since mid-February.

Tellus’ Managing Director, Duncan van der Merwe said “At Tellus, our highest priority is the health and wellbeing of our people, contractors, clients and our communities. Keeping our projects running is critical for the direct and indirect jobs they create and support, their benefits to the local economy and cleaning up the environment.

We are fully focused on reducing the risk of potential transmission of COVID-19 at our sites. These locations include Sandy Ridge, where we are at peak manning during our stage 3 construction, as well as our corporate offices in Sydney, Perth, Darwin and Brisbane. As COVID-19 continues to spread, we are taking additional precautionary measures to test our Business Continuity Plans. Above all, we are encouraging our people to look after each other, their families and communities as we manage through this challenging time together.”

Each of our project sites and offices are monitoring local conditions and have plans in place designed to maintain workforce safety and business continuity. We have implemented measures based on risk assessment, government requirements and specialist advice, that each account for specific site factors. These include:

 

Government requirements

  • Tellus has enacted the measures from the Australian Government Department of Health COVID-19 guidance document
  • We are actively monitoring and implementing any changes in the Australian Federal Government’s guidance

 

COVID-19– Business Continuity Plan (CV–BCP)

  • Tellus has implemented its COVID-19– Business Continuity Plan (CV–BCP)
  • Our CV–BCP currently focusses on staff and supplier planning, and related communications

 

Tellus employees

  • A ban on international business travel for Tellus employees, until further notice
  • A ban on interstate Australian business travel for Tellus employees, until further notice
  • Some protocols have been introduced, such as flexible rostering, to assist workforce requirements
  • Gatherings of people are being limited as much as possible and social distancing protocols are in place
  • All non-essential visits and meetings across project sites and offices are being rescheduled, cancelled or will take place via virtual platforms
  • Remote working is being tested in our offices
  • Business continuity plans are being tested at our Sandy Ridge site and offices and our employees are prepared to manage through a range of scenarios where COVID-19 limits workforce capacity or access to infrastructure
  • We have implemented a COVID-19 staff questionnaire, external parties self-screening processes and a self-assessment health checklist for those under self-quarantine
  • Hygiene protocols have been implemented for staff

 

Contractor and suppliers

  • Our Sandy Ridge principal contractor has prepared an Infectious Diseases Management Plan
  • Site specific measures have been implemented, should site staff show signs of COVID-19
  • Key suppliers have been contacted to assess their own action plans to ensure uninterrupted supply
  • Tellus is working with vendors to ensure services and supplies are interrupted as little as possible and will manage any adverse impacts if they arise

 

Limiting contact with clients, indigenous communities and external stakeholders

  • We have instituted a temporary halt to all non-essential face-to-face meetings between Tellus representatives and clients, indigenous communities and other external stakeholders

 

Regular communication and vigilance

  • As the situation continues to change rapidly, we will continue to assess and update our response
  • Regular communication with our workforce will continue to ensure that they have the latest health, travel and quarantine guidelines along with access to the necessary resources to support their wellbeing and safety
  • Our HSECQ team releases regular staff updates on this situation and our response

 

Leadership

  • A senior team has been established with health, safety, operational, human resource and financial experts to manage a company-wide response
  • The team is maintaining safe operations at our sites and offices
  • This team reports weekly to the MD

 

Sandy Ridge construction update

  • The Safety and Health of our people and contractors at Sandy Ridge is our priority
  • In line with regulatory guidance an Infectious Disease Management Plan is in place and we continue to work with our project partners to manage day to day operations at site
  • As things currently stand, stage 1 and 2 construction is complete, and regrading final stage 3 balance of works, there have been no material impacts on our construction timetable or supply chain

 

Demand for our services

  • Encouragingly, and despite the recent headwinds relating to COVID-19, we continue to see positive momentum from potential customers interested in securing waste at Sandy Ridge. This is being driven by, among other things, our site nearing its official commencement of operations, the major clean-up efforts of legacy, existing and emerging wastes, and the increased infrastructure investment and activity across Australia as a result of existing and recent government stimulus announcements
  • Tellus is committed to providing continuity of our operations and supporting our clients’ requirements

 

Our financial position

  • Our financial position is strong with a relatively healthy cash position that we believe should allow us to bridge the current health crises