Woodside reducing number of workers at facilities to minimize coronavirus impact

Australian energy giant Woodside is reducing the number of workers on its facilities in an attempt to minimize the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. 

North Rankin Complex, North West Shelf Project, Western Australia; Source: Woodside

In an update on Friday Woodside said it was working to identify, minimize, and manage potential risks and impacts arising from COVID-19.

Woodside CEO Peter Coleman said the health and safety of people, the integrity of operations and the ability to deliver gas to customers are the company’s highest priorities.

“To comply with expert health and Government guidance we are reducing the number of people at our facilities and working with our contractors, suppliers, and communities to minimize the impact of the pandemic.

“This is not business as usual. We all need to be more agile, think differently and take the appropriate steps to get through this together.

“We acknowledge the broader social and economic impacts from the current COVID-19 situation. We are working closely with our contractors and suppliers on measures to mitigate impacts on their businesses and their employees,” he said.

Woodside’s measures to minimize the impact of the coronavirus will include an establishment of a AUD $3 million COVID-19 Community Fund to support local organisations in its operational hometown of Karratha.

The Community Fund will be supplemented by a dollar-matching employee donation initiative.

When it comes to suppliers, Woodside will take steps to expedite payments of all outstanding invoices for small, local and Indigenous businesses, defined as a business generating less than AUD $10 million in annual revenue.

Woodside will reduce payment terms for new invoices received from small Australian businesses, expediting payment from 30 days, targeting 14 days. Where possible, Woodside will also expedite pending invoices for other work completed.

For contractors, Woodside will work to consider measures to support them to maintain the ongoing employment of as many of their employees as practicable.

“We are considering a range of mitigations, which may include alterations to rosters and support for casual contractor personnel who may not otherwise be entitled to sick leave or payment from their contractor employer if affected by COVID-19,” Woodside said.

Woodside said it would work with peak bodies and other industries to support redeployment initiatives where practicable. This includes identifying key contractor skill groups that can take up opportunities in industries experiencing labour shortages as a result of migration disruption.

Woodside also said it had restricted international and domestic business travel and implemented facility access restrictions. Strict control and social distancing guidelines, enhanced hygiene practices and medical screenings and work from home arrangements have also been implemented at all the offices and operational sites.

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