Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) updates for USG Boral’s employees, contractors and customers

VICTORIAN GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCES 5-DAY 'CIRCUIT BREAKER' LOCKDOWN - 12-17 FEBRUARY

Following the Victorian Government’s recent announcement of a state wide lockdown for five (5) days, USG Boral sites in Victoria including offices, trade stores, manufacturing and distribution facilities will close for the entire 5-day period (12-17 February), ensuring that all staff are able to self-isolate at home and follow the guidelines and protocols around COVID-19 including social distancing and hygiene safety.

The Victorian construction industry will close as part of lockdown restrictions to help control the current COVID-19 outbreak. Victorian Premier Daniel Andrews said the measures are a necessary "circuit breaker" to allow for a contact tracing blitz on cases linked to the Holiday Inn.
More information is available on the Victorian government COVID-19 website here; https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/

At USG Boral we have identified business critical processes that need continuity during this shutdown and have implemented COVID-SAFE plans. Our national finance functions including Accounts Payable, Payroll and Accounts Receivable will remain fully functional during this period.

All Victorian USG Boral employees including contracting teams will no longer attend operational sites while they remain closed for 5 days. All scheduled deliveries during this period will be suspended until further notice. At the end of this period, we hope to provide further advice including, when known, the date on which sites may re-open and the relevant processes in place to reinstate our services.

If the shutdown period is extended by the Victorian government beyond 5 days, we will of course provide further communications on what this may mean, including for USG Boral Contractors on operational sites at that time.

We have a dedicated internal COVID-19 task force and we are relying on expert advice, including information provided by USG Boral’s international medical and travel security services provider International SOS, as well as advice from specialist global risk consultancy Control Risks. We are also monitoring and applying official Australian national and state notices and recommendations from the WHO (World Health Organisation). We have protocols in place that we are updating regularly, including requirements for employees and contractors whose work includes being on USG Boral sites, to be quarantined for fourteen days before returning to work if they have visited an affected country or been in close contact with a person with a suspected or confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19.

To learn more about USG Boral’s protocols and practices for employees and contractors please refer to the following documents:

·      Hygiene Advice

We are also working to ensure we are as prepared as we can be around business continuity planning including minimising our supply chain risks and business disruption, and strengthening our remote working capabilities. We have identified critical business processes, including in our manufacturing operations and distribution as well as in our finance and IT functions. We have contingency planning underway including planning for staff absenteeism and planning to minimise any potential supply disruption to customers.  We do not rely on a single data centre or IT facility that would leave the business or our customers vulnerable.

Some customers have asked about where our products are manufactured and if it is safe to accept USG Boral products onto their sites. USG Boral’s products are predominantly sourced and manufactured locally. While we do source some products, additives and equipment from overseas, expert advice is that the primary spread of the virus is through close, unprotected and direct contact with an infected person.  There is currently no evidence to support transmission of COVID-19 through imported goods. 

Some customers have also asked if we expect any supply shortages and if we have alternate locations to supply customers from if a site is impacted by COVID-19. Because USG Boral operates across many sites, we have a number of back-ups and alternative locations for customer supply already built into our network.  Also, we are working to ensure we have adequate stocks of supply of all critical additives and inputs that are imported.

While our business continuity plans are confidential documents, if you are a customer and would like to better understand the way we operate and how we are managing the risks of COVID-19 in USG Boral, please contact your sales representative and an online meeting or discussion can be arranged.

For more information or to provide feedback to USG Boral on COVID-19, please email: covid19@usgboral.com

We encourage you to be aware of the available resources and recommendations of your local authorities.  Here are a few examples:

https://www.smartraveller.gov.au/

https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/infectious/Pages/default.aspx

https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus

https://www.health.qld.gov.au/clinical-practice/guidelines-procedures/diseases-infection/diseases/coronavirus

https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-nCoV/summary.html

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