COVID-19 RESPONSE

Last Updated: 5 May 2020

First Issued: 17 March 2020

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Is there an increased risk of COVID-19 clusters forming and spreading in Teys facilities, as has been the case in meat processing plants both overseas, and domestically?

Whilst this factor has been observed in a number of meat processing plants in the U.S. and with the recent case identified in Victoria,  our deliberate approach at Teys to support and protect our people, and in turn, secure our production, means we are well positioned to minimise and manage the impact of an employee testing positive for COVID-19. Our proactive approach since mid-March has involved constantly assessing the latest advice from State and Federal authorities, staying in contact with Work Health and Safety regulators, and designing and implementing comprehensive safeguards in all our plants as a result, including –

  • Temperature testing at security points upon entry to Teys plants to provide more rigour to site access restrictions.
  • Staff lunch rooms expanded where required, and in some cases new marquee eating areas built to enable increased social distancing for our staff on meal breaks.
  • Redesigned work practices to reduce the risk of potential spread during the working day.
  • We have increased the frequency of cleaning to reduce infection risk through surface contact.
  • Additional PPE (specifically protective head coverings) available for staff in specific functional roles to reduce the risk of airborne spread.
  • Free flu injections for all Teys staff, with rollout nearing completion.
  • We have implemented employee education campaigns to raise awareness of virus symptoms and promote good hygiene, preventative measures, and encourage visiting the doctor immediately if feeling unwell.
  • We have enforced heightened isolation and return to work procedures for unwell staff. Everyone who has been unwell now requires medical clearance before returning to work at our plants.
  • Multi-lingual messaging on education on safe hygiene practices, and required protocols now published and promoted around the clock at each Teys plant.
  • As part of our in-plant monitoring of SOP (standard operating procedures), our CCTV recordings for each shift can also be utilised in the event of a positive COVID-19 detection. Footage from fixed points of key areas in plant can be used to confirm close contact workers, and identify if isolation may be required, as well as monitoring that correct hygiene procedures are followed.
  • To help manage the risk from external parties, we have limited onsite visits to critical matters until further notice and require signed declarations covering recent travel movements prior to access.

The Teys team continue to constantly monitor and measure the impact of our health and safety protocols and take deliberate action to evolve and refine our approach across all of our facilities as required.

 

 Is Teys’ beef production impacted by COVID-19?

All our processing plants are currently operating normally.

Teys is part of Australia’s critical infrastructure, which means we are able to continue production during government lockdown measures. This also means our freight and critical suppliers are allowed to cross state borders to ensure sustained meat supply to our customers and Australian consumers.

 

What is Teys doing to ensure that appropriate social distancing is occurring?

Teys continues to work with all arms of government to ensure both the protection of our people and the continuity of supply, and we are updating and evolving our processes to support the latest government advice changes. This includes social distancing frameworks and protocols.

Given our role as an essential service provider to both Australian and global consumers, we are adopting government recommendations applicable to our industry. This includes the introduction of a work from home policy and remote access for the majority of administration and support service roles. This policy is now in full effect.

Practical assessment of plant roles and production functions is also occurring to ensure a fit-for-purpose approach protects our people whilst acknowledging the unique conditions of the food production sector as part of the critical infrastructure of food supply to Australian consumers.

 

How is Teys assessing and adapting procedures and work practices in its production plants?

The Teys team is constantly assessing the most recent advice from State and Federal authorities, and designing and implementing additional safeguards in our plants that support and protect our people, and in turn, secure our production. Over and above previously implemented measures, Teys has now introduced the following –

  • Temperature testing at security points upon entry to Teys plants to provide more rigour to site access restrictions.
  • As part of our in-plant monitoring of SOP (standard operating procedures), our CCTV recordings for each shift can also be utilised in the event of a positive COVID-19 detection. Footage from fixed points of key areas in plant can be used to confirm close contact workers, and identify if isolation may be required, as well as monitoring that correct hygiene procedures are followed.
  • Free flu injections for all Teys staff, with rollout currently underway.
  • Staff lunch rooms expanded where required, and in some cases new marquee eating areas built to enable increased social distancing for our staff on meal breaks.
  • Additional PPE (specifically protective head coverings) available for staff in specific functional roles to reduce the risk of airborne spread.
  • Multi-lingual messaging on education on safe hygiene practices, and required protocols now published and promoted around the clock at each Teys plant.

 

What is Teys doing at all of its facilities to mitigate the risks of disruption?

In addition to our already stringent food safety practices, we have activated a range of measures at all Teys sites:

  • We have increased the frequency of cleaning to reduce infection risk through surface contact.
  • We have enforced heightened isolation and return to work procedures for unwell staff. Everyone who has been unwell now requires medical clearance before returning to work at our plants.
  • We have implemented employee education campaigns to raise awareness of virus symptoms and promote good hygiene and preventative measures.
  • To help manage the risk from external parties, we have limited onsite visits to critical matters until further notice and require signed declarations prior to access.

 

What is Teys doing to ensure supply chain continuity?

We are implementing our business resilience process, led by our COVID-19 Response Team. We have already activated a range of mitigation measures and are continually monitoring, reviewing and managing our responses to the evolving situation.

In addition to our own business continuity efforts, we have also cross-checked with our critical suppliers to confirm their preparedness and continuity of supply for our business operations.

 

What about Teys’ suppliers of secondary materials?

We have been working closely with all our critical suppliers and partners (i.e. packaging and other items related to production) in ensuring adequate levels of stock inventory are maintained (in light of volatile demand conditions). We will continue to work closely with our suppliers and partners, to ensure this high degree of confidence is maintained.

 

How will Teys customers know if the situation changes?

We are continually monitoring government updates and reports on the latest medical advice and conducting our own ongoing assessment to determine if additional mitigation measures are needed.

The Teys team will engage with customers directly on material changes that may impact our joint operations and supply in the future.

 

What is Teys doing to minimise the impact of COVID-19?

The safety and wellbeing of our people and our communities, and our business continuity remain our top priorities.  Our COVID-19 Response Team and many support teams across our business are working hard to keep us safe. We have already activated a range of mitigation measures and are continually monitoring, reviewing and managing our responses to the evolving situation in line with the latest government and health advice.