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Transport, Postal and Warehousing sector guidance

Sector guidance for Transport, Postal and Warehousing business within metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria.

See below for up to date operational guidance and frequently asked questions for this sector.

For frequently asked questions that applies to all businesses go to our

Warehouse and Distribution Centres

Business Operating Reductions

Step One restrictions

What are the new restrictions for warehouse and distribution centres?

From 11:59pm on 13 September 2020 the following changes will need to be adopted by Melbourne warehouse and distribution centres.

Each warehouse and distribution centres will:

  • enact a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan focused on safety, prevention and response if coronavirus cases are linked to their workplace
  • increase the regularity of deep cleaning
  • enforce the wearing of face coverings by staff on site
  • where practicable COVIDSafe Plans should be designed with input from employees and their representatives.

In addition, Melbourne warehouse and distribution centres will:

  • reduce the number of people in the workplace.

Employees will be:

  • prohibited from car-pooling to and from work
  • able to work at only one premises
  • required to inform their employer if they share accommodation with anyone working at another high-risk workplace.

Are the restrictions for warehouse and distribution centres the same in regional Victoria as they are in metropolitan Melbourne?

The restrictions do not apply to other warehouse and distribution centres in regional Victoria.

Reduced operations requirement

What is the level of operation for warehouse and distribution centres?

Melbourne warehouse and distribution centre worksites must reduce their daily peak onsite workforce by at least 33% of the daily peak workforce capacity; reduce their daily total onsite workforce by at least 10% of daily total workforce capacity.

What is the definition of reduced operations requirements and peak capacity?

A daily peak workforce capacity is calculated by taking the average of the highest number of workers on site at any given time on each day over:

  • July 2020; or
  • any three-month sequential period in the last 12 months.

A daily total workforce capacity is calculated by taking the average of the total number of workers on site on each day over:

  • July 2020; or
  • any three-month sequential period in the last 12 months.

Are there any exceptions to the reduced operations requirement?

Yes, there are the following exceptions:

  • Supermarket warehouses and distribution centres are covered separately.
  • Warehouses and distribution centres with perishable food apply the same requirements as supermarket warehouses.
  • Warehouses and distribution centres that are licensed under the Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Act 1981 for the supply of medicines listed under Schedules 2, 3, 4, and 8 are exempt from the requirement on level of operation.

Warehouses and distribution centres that distribute medical devices and consumables that are registered on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) are exempt from the requirement on level of operation.

What is the definition of a worker?

Workers refers to people working on a site including, but not limited to, owners, managers, employees, contractors, workers on labour hire and security.

It does not include workers undertaking emergency repairs and maintenance.

It does not include staff specifically dedicated to oversight of COVIDSafe functions in the workplace e.g. workers doing additional cleaning of high-touch points or overseeing the implementation of COVIDSafe practices.

Documentation

What documentation is required?

Specified worksite operators will be required to declare in an attachment to their COVIDSafe Plan:

  • the location and nature of the activities undertaken at sites intended to continue restricted operations;
  • the peak workforce capacity levels calculated for each site and the time period used to establish these levels;
  • the restricted workforce levels proposed for each site during the restriction period calculated in compliance with the order; and
  • that the operator will retain and agrees to make available for inspection the business records and calculations used to establish the restricted workforce levels and demonstrate compliance with those restricted workforce levels through the period to which the restriction apply.

If I am a warehousing and distribution centre business with five employees or less, do I need to have a COVIDSafe Plan and High Risk COVIDSafe Plan attachment?

Yes. Distribution Centres and Warehouses are considered high risk operations and require the development of a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan.

Compliance and enforcement

Government is introducing a specified worksite reporting regime supported by independent compliance reviews and site inspections. The process is being established to ensure the specified worksites comply with the intent of the order and can provide independently verifiable evidence of their compliance during and after the restriction period.

What documentation do I need to retain?

The COVIDSafe Plan and attachment (as specified above) must be retained and be available for inspection on request. It will not be otherwise be submitted to or endorsed by the Victorian Government.

Operators will also be required to retain and make available for inspection evidence of the peak workforce capacity level determined, including roster, time and attendance, payroll and other site attendance records.

Who will enforce these restrictions?

Authorised officers will be undertaking site inspections for workplaces subject to reduced operation requirements to ensure they are complying and have a complete High Risk COVIDSafe Plan.

How will compliance be monitored?

Site operators will be randomly selected for independent compliance review and asked to demonstrate compliance with the order. To facilitate these compliance reviews which will take place both during and after Step One, operators will be required to retain and make available for inspection site rosters, time and attendance data, payroll data and other site attendance records as requested.

Compliance reviews will be conducted by independent agents appointed by the Victorian Government for this purpose.

Frequently asked questions - regional Victoria

Updated on: 16 September 2020

Read below for commonly asked questions by businesses within the Transport, Postal and Warehousing sector. The following frequently asked questions apply to regional Victoria. Find out more about Victoria’s roadmap for reopening.

'Postal and distribution' facilities are those primarily used for sorting of mail and parcels, cross-docking, loading for distribution, plus vehicle fleet for last mile delivery.

Yes, marina and boat yard management and service staff can continue to manage marinas and boat yards. However, if you can work from home, you must do so.

When at work, you should maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between you and others and practise good hygiene - wash your hands and cough and sneeze into a tissue or your elbow.

You must wear a face covering when you leave home, this includes wearing your face covering while at work, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so.

Yes, if it is for emergency maintenance or safety purposes only. Routine maintenance is not allowed unless it is directly necessary for the operation of a permitted work activity.

Vessel owners should maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between themselves and others and practise good hygiene. They must wear a face covering unless they have a lawful reason for not doing so.

This work must not be undertaken during curfew hours in a Stage 4 restricted area unless it is in the event of an emergency.

No. As per current restrictions, travel between Stage 4 and Stage 3 restricted areas is not permitted unless absolutely critical or essential. Under Stage 4 restrictions, driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home at this time.

Yes. Priority tests will continue at all Customer Service Centres throughout Victoria under the existing hardship and special circumstances policy. At the request of an applicant, an interpreter OR a driving instructor may participate in these tests (provided there are no more than three people in the vehicle) and the Safe Operating Procedure endorsed by DHHS is followed.

Yes, you can use a taxi or rideshare to attend a medical appointment.

As commercial passenger vehicles are shared spaces and are accessible to members of the public, CPV’s must take all reasonable steps to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned after each passenger or driver.

More information about cleaning and disinfecting to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria website.

Aircraft dealerships and salesrooms are currently not permitted to be open under Stage 4 restrictions.

Aircraft can only be delivered to customers in Victoria where the aircraft is essential to the operations of a permitted workplace. Delivery of aircraft should be postponed until Stage 4 restrictions ease unless there is an immediate and critical need for the aircraft within a permitted workplace.

Delivery of aircraft to customers interstate is subject to the restrictions of the relevant state or territory.

Employers should minimise any requirement for employees to work at different sites as this is one way that COVID-19 can be spread at work places.

An employee working at more than one site must keep a log of the places visited including date, time and place of attendance. The employee must comply with each employer’s COVIDSafe Plan.

'Warehousing and wholesaling' includes facilities used for bulk sales, storage, breakdown, sorting, picking, packing, e-commerce pick/pack and bulk distribution.

'Postal and distribution' includes facilities used for sorting of mail and parcels, cross-docking, loading for distribution, plus vehicle fleet for last mile delivery.

No. If you cannot operate your warehouse in line with the density quotient required, you must remain closed.

'Warehousing and wholesaling' includes facilities used for bulk sales, storage, breakdown, sorting, picking, packing, e-commerce pick/pack and bulk distribution.

Frequently asked questions - metropolitan Melbourne

Updated on: 16 September 2020

Read below for commonly asked questions by businesses within the Transport, Postal and Warehousing sector. The following frequently asked questions apply to metropolitan Melbourne, which is currently at Step One of Victoria’s roadmap for reopening.

Freight and postal services

Yes, wholesale activity including dispatch and delivery or click and collect can continue at this time.

Warehousing and distribution are classified as high risk industries and are subject to additional restrictions.

If goods and services were ordered prior to Stage 4 restrictions taking effect and are being transported, they can be delivered. Furthermore, goods and services can be transported and delivered during Stage 4 restrictions if they are ordered:

  • online; or
  • as a part of permitted workplace activity; or
  • to meet safety and environmental obligations.

'Postal and distribution' facilities are those primarily used for sorting of mail and parcels, cross-docking, loading for distribution, plus vehicle fleet for last mile delivery.

Under the Second Step, postal and distribution industries move to 'Restricted' status. Current workforce reductions will be lifted, however general limitations regarding density (e.g. 'four square metre rule') will continue to apply. Where a worker can work from home, they must continue to do so. Workplaces must have a COVIDSafe Plan.

Employers should also continue to limit the number of workers working across multiple work sites.

Marine vessels

No, marina and boat yard management and service staff cannot continue to manage marinas and boat yards unless they are deemed essential for safety, security and emergency maintenance.

Permitted activities for marine vessels include emergency maintenance or safety checks.

Yes, if it is for emergency maintenance or safety purposes only. Routine maintenance is not allowed unless it is directly necessary for the operation of a permitted work activity.

Vessel owners should maintain physical distancing by keeping at least 1.5 metres between themselves and others and practise good hygiene. They must wear a face covering unless they have a lawful reason for not doing so.

This work must not be undertaken during curfew hours in a Stage 4 restricted area unless it is in the event of an emergency.

Vehicle use

No. Driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home at this time.

Professional driver trainer can only continue if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. For example, if training is required for emergency services personnel to meet immediate needs. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.

No. Driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home at this time.

Professional driver trainer can only continue if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. For example, if training is required for emergency services personnel to meet immediate needs. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.

No. Driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home at this time.

Professional driver trainer can only continue if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. For example, if training is required for emergency services personnel to meet immediate needs. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.

No. Driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home at this time

No. As per current restrictions, travel between Stage 4 and Stage 3 restricted areas is not permitted unless absolutely critical or essential. Under Stage 4 restrictions, driving lessons and driving practice are not permitted reasons to leave home at this time.

Yes. Priority tests will continue at all Customer Service Centres throughout Victoria under the existing hardship and special circumstances policy.

Professional driver trainer can only continue if it is necessary for the operations of a permitted workplace. For example, if training is required for emergency services personnel to meet immediate needs. A valid worker permit would be required for both the instructor and the driver and face coverings must be worn.

Routine maintenance (i.e. logbook or scheduled maintenance) is permitted as a standalone service for safety purposes only, including for repairs and product recalls.Under the current guidance, automotive, machinery and equipment repair and maintenance are permitted to operate:

  • where service providers are providing support to a permitted service or industry or
  • where it is required to maintain the health and safety of Victorians at home or at work (e.g. routine  maintenance, vehicle repairs and critical maintenance including disinfection).

If the nearest mechanic is more than 5km from your home, or if your vehicle requires a specialist and/or brand-specific workplace in order to complete repairs, you may travel outside the 5km zone to access these services.

Yes, you can use a taxi or rideshare to attend a medical appointment.

As commercial passenger vehicles are shared spaces and are accessible to members of the public, CPV’s must take all reasonable steps to ensure they are thoroughly cleaned after each passenger or driver.

More information about cleaning and disinfecting to prevent the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19) is available on the Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria website.

Aircraft dealerships and salesrooms are currently not permitted to be open under Stage 4 restrictions.

Aircraft can only be delivered to customers in Victoria where the aircraft is essential to the operations of a permitted workplace. Delivery of aircraft should be postponed until Stage 4 restrictions ease unless there is an immediate and critical need for the aircraft within a permitted workplace.

Delivery of aircraft to customers interstate is subject to the restrictions of the relevant state or territory.

Aircraft maintenance engineers and other service staff cannot continue to maintain and service aircraft unless it is deemed essential for safety, security or emergency maintenance, or the aircraft is being used for a permitted work activity, such as a commercial freight or emergency services.

Workforce

No. Delivery drivers who will only be onsite for a short period of time are not included as workers and do not count towards worker limits.

Other

Employers should minimise any requirement for employees to work at different sites as this is one way that COVID-19 can be spread at work places.

An employee working at more than one site must keep a log of the places visited including date, time and place of attendance. The employee must comply with each employer’s COVIDSafe Plan.

Yes, providing it is emergency maintenance or for safety purposes only.

'Warehousing and wholesaling' includes facilities used for bulk sales, storage, breakdown, sorting, picking, packing, e-commerce pick/pack and bulk distribution.

Yes. However, resourcing restrictions do not apply to workers who spend less than 20 per cent of their shift in the warehouse (e.g. linehaul drivers).

'Warehousing and wholesaling' includes facilities used for bulk sales, storage, breakdown, sorting, picking, packing, e-commerce pick/pack and bulk distribution.

'Postal and distribution' includes facilities used for sorting of mail and parcels, cross-docking, loading for distribution, plus vehicle fleet for last mile delivery.

No. If you cannot operate your warehouse in line with the density quotient required, you must remain closed.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) business support and the Industry Coordination Centre

The Business Victoria website and hotline provide information on restrictions and support to help your workplace plan and respond to coronavirus (COVID-19).

Call Business Victoria on 13 22 15.