The health and wellbeing of our staff has always been a focus of SydWest, and we knew that we needed to make COVID-19 precautions a top priority in order to manage this unprecedented risk.
In early March, we commenced a review of our procedures and risks for COVID-19 infection across all of our offices. By undertaking this early review, we implemented:
- Purchase of hand sanitizer supplies to meet the ongoing need for all staff, clients and visitors
- Consultations with our teams to understand their concerns
- Strict personal hygiene and physical distancing measures and communicated them
- Introduction of COVID-19 best practices.
Implementing COVID-19 Risk control measures
SydWest Multicultural Services has consistently instigated strict controls in line with government guidelines and best practice. Firstly, we encouraged all staff to work from home, as practical, to minimize their risk of coming into contact with COVID-19. We provided technology, tools and education to ensure our staff could be productive; we ensured that we provided for taking care of their physical and psychological wellbeing.
In the offices, we implemented:
- All staff advised that, if they were feeling unwell or in contact with anyone unwell, to self-isolate at home
- All staff self-screen daily before attending an office
- No staff work across more than one site
- All clients and visitors are pre-registered and screened before they can enter an office
- All group meetings and activities held indoors were cancelled until further notice
- The floorplan was calculated to ensure distancing and combined with remote working
- Disinfectant sprays, wipes and sanitisers were provided throughout the office
- Hygiene education posters displayed throughout offices
- Additional cleaning service to ensure all surfaces were regularly wiped down
- Ongoing review and updating of our risk control measures in response to latest advice from government authorities.
Care Workers and Aged Care & Disability Services
All SydWest Aged Care and Disability Services Care Workers are on the front line for COVID-19 precautions. All Care Workers are instructed in infection control and hygiene and received up-to-date training for COVID-19 readiness.
All Care Workers undertake screening of their clients each time they visit their homes and before they enter the client’s house, to maintain our precautionary approach.
All Care Workers are issued with additional PPE (personal protective equipment) since COVID-19 precautions were introduced and regularly instructed in the safe use and disposal of PPE.
Our Aged Care and Disability Services clients and their families were all advised in early March 2020 of the steps that SydWest is taking to maximise safety and maintain infection control. They continue to be updated as precautions and procedures develop.
Formalise being a COVID safe business
We’re proud of the lengths we’ve gone to that ensure the health and safety of our team members, clients and visitors. To formalise the actions we’ve undertaken we completed the NSW Government’s COVID-19 Safety Plan and registered as a COVID-19 safe environment. This helps create a sense of comfort for team members and guests that we are taking all necessary steps to minimise the risk. Our Safety Plan has been developed within the business and to ensure everyone is aware of their personal responsibilities under the plan and we regularly discuss COVID-19 at staff updates to keep it front of mind.
Further information and resources