The Victorian Government has announced a state-wide lockdown effective from 11.59pm on 12 February 2021.
Whilst full details regarding the lockdown are still being updated on the Department of Health website, the SSAA is providing a link to the latest available DHHS information: Click To View
and information published previously by SSAA.
Consistent with the information issued to members in August 2020 when Stage 4 restrictions were re-introduced, the SSAA provide the following:-
Self storage facilities provide storage services to a range of commercial and residential customers. Some of these customers are directly or indirectly linked to the providing ‘permitted goods and services’, for example: –
- Repairers of elevators and machinery used in hospitals and other critical infrastructure;
- Companies repairing critical data and IT infrastructure;
- Companies providing hygiene goods and protective equipment;
- Foodbanks and charities providing distribution of food, sanitary items, and other critical products for individuals in need;
- Emergency breakdown services such as RACV for batteries and spare parts.
Residential storers may require access to essential items for personal use which may extend to medical devices, household appliances, etc.
Facilities owners/operators should have in place a plan to ensure the safe and effective delivery of services and required obligations including, but not limited to:-
- site security;
- COVID Safe Plan;
- cleaning regimes;
- sanitation protocols;
- ‘click and collect’ services;
- contactless move-ins;
- operating hours;
- urgent repairs and maintenance;
- elimination of employees working at multiple sites;
- closure of public toilet facilities and meeting rooms.
Under Lockdown restrictions employers are responsible for ensuring they meet certain obligations as detailed below.
Under Lockdown restrictions, workplaces that remain open must:
- have a COVID Safe Plan in place that is regularly updated
- ensure that any workers that can work from home are able to do so
- collect records of all workers, subcontractors, customers and clients attending the work premises for 15 minutes or longer (certain exemptions will apply)
- one worker per four square metres of enclosed workspace or in shared areas unless an exemption applies, ensure that workers do not work across multiple sites, or for multiple employers
- ensure that workers are in good health – workers cannot work if they are unwell and employers must not require workers with symptoms to work
- if your worker is unwell, send them home and direct them to be tested. They must stay home until they have their result
- report any positive cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) to DHHS, Worksafe, Health and Safety Representatives, and notify your workforce
- regularly clean your facilities, shared spaces and provide additional cleaning supplies
- undertake risk assessments for cleaning and the potential closure of your workplace in certain situations.
Whilst information regarding work permits is not clear, SSAA recommend that permits are made available for workers where required.
Click to View Permit: Permitted Worker Permit including childcare – 10092020 (1)
For more information on the lockdown restrictions
Key points to remember
- Adhere to the facility COVID Safe Plan.
- Everyone must wear a mask when they leave home unless an exception applies.
Can you refuse entry to your facility if a storer is not wearing a mask?
A Facility has an obligation of safety to its staff and storers and is permitted to do what it believes is reasonably required to protect their health and safety. The requirement to wear a face-covering has been made by the Western Australian Government to reduce the spread of coronavirus.
Accordingly, a Facility can legally refuse access to people not wearing face coverings, unless one of the following exemptions applies:
- the person is an infant or a child under 12.
- the person has a physical or mental illness or disability, which makes wearing a face mask unsuitable.
- the person is communicating with someone who is deaf or hard of hearing.
- the person is engaging in strenuous physical exercise (this could extend to moving goods in and out of a unit); or
- the person is consuming food, drink, or medicine.
Storers who are refused access do not have grounds to contest the Facility’s decision. A right not to be discriminated against based on not wearing a mask does not exist and a Storer’s refusal to wear a mask does not qualify as an act demonstrating freedom of political communication under the Australian Constitution.
If any Facility owner or member of staff is concerned about their well-being during any discussion with a storer not wearing a mask, they should immediately contact the police.
Remember that these restrictions are in place to slow the spread of coronavirus in Victoria.