A.G. Coombs Group Response to Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Victorian Stage 4 Business Restrictions

Stage 4 Restrictions are in force in the Melbourne Metropolitan area. As Permitted and Essential work providers, A.G. Coombs Group companies are complying with the requirements of Stage 4 Restrictions while providing specialist essential building services in Victoria.

We continue to manage a closely coordinated process to assure the health and wellbeing of our employees, as well as COVID-19 Business Continuity Plans to ensure we continue to operate effectively and safely in continuing to provide our services to our valued customers.


Work Permits

Under Stage 4 Restrictions our Permitted Workers have been issued a Worker Permit to be carried when travelling to or from work (including to worksites). Our personnel must not use this Worker Permit if:

  • They have symptoms or potential symptoms of COVID-19
  • Have tested positive to COVID-19 and are required to self-isolate
  • Have been in close contact of someone who has tested positive to COVID-19

Our personnel are required to complete a Daily COVID-19 Screening questionnaire together with logging their locations throughout the day.


COVID Safe Plans

Under Stage 4 Restrictions A.G. Coombs Group companies have COVID Safe Plans; Safe Work Method Statements and Instructions in place for our worksites, field operations and workplaces.

Site work: Since the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have implemented, reviewed and updated our COVID Safe Plans.  These Plans cover our worksites, including on-site construction.  We have Site-Specific High-Risk COVID Safe Plans and comply with the site-specific requirements of our customers.

Servicing and Field Work: We have COVID Safe Plans for our maintenance and technical personnel and are working closely with our customers and industry partners to ensure we comply with any specific site requirements.

Subcontractors: All subcontractors engaged by A.G. Coombs Group companies are required to undergo a pre-qualification process. Under Stage 4 Restrictions sub-contractors are required to confirm their compliance with any COVID Safe Plan applicable on sites where they conduct work for A.G. Coombs Group companies, including daily screening.

Facilities: All A.G. Coombs Group company facilities are operating under a COVID Safe Plan.

Our COVID Safe Plans are available on request.


Remote Working and Support Services

Since March 2020, our personnel, where possible, have been encouraged to work from home. Under Stage 4 Restrictions, non-site and non-field personnel are required to do so. Attendance by an of this personnel at any site, including offices or work sites is by exception only.

The A.G. Coombs Group is committed to the health and wellbeing of our employees and service providers, as well as our customers. Our personnel are provided with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), instructions and training on its effective use, and guidelines to help limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

Our personnel and their families have access to our Employee Assistance Program, and we actively promote the availability of Industry and Union programs, such as Incolink and Mates in Construction.


General Response and Response Outside of Metropolitan Melbourne Stage 4 Business Restrictions

Does your business have a Coronavirus (COVID-19) policy and response procedure?

The Australian Government has enacted its Coronavirus (COVID-19) emergency response plan and is operating on the basis the virus is a declared pandemic. We closely monitor and follow Commonwealth directives. We also recognise that each State and Territory may have different responses and we closely monitor these and are reacting appropriately.

As a business, we have implemented a coordinated plan to manage the health and wellbeing of our employees and service providers as well as detailed Business Continuity Plans to ensure we continue to operate effectively for our valued customers and industry partners.

As a leading specialist building services provider, A.G. Coombs is also working closely with industry associations and government bodies to disseminate information to assist building owners, operators and occupants in the current situation. The A.G. Coombs COVID-19 Resource webpage (coming soon) and our series of COVID-19 related Advisory Notes are examples of this.

What guidelines have you implemented to prevent the spread of communicable diseases within your workforce?

The A.G. Coombs Group is committed to the health and wellbeing of our employees and service providers, as well as our customers. Our personnel are provided with the necessary Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), instructions and training on its effective use, and guidelines to limit the spread of the COVID-19 virus.

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water.
  • Using a tissue and cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze.
  • Trying not to touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Avoiding close contact with others; such as touching and handshakes.
  • Provision of hand sanitiser at our locations and posters communicating the above advice.
  • Application of social distancing guidelines.
  • Use of recommended face coverings where social distancing guidelines cannot be met.

Along with access to up-to-date advice sources including https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alert

All business-related air travel has ceased.

Our approach includes a range of tactics including the splitting of functional teams and enacting a remote working regime for non-field or site personnel, significant upgrades to IT infrastructure, supply chain activities and other special arrangements to support our extensive site teams and service technicians. Since March 2020, our personnel, where possible, have been encouraged to work from home.

Where our office locations are still in use to support site and field personnel, we have limited face to face meetings and are applying government social distancing guidelines.

Where social distancing is not practical on construction and maintenance sites, we have enforced protocols in place including the use of appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other procedures. All site and field personnel have been issued with PPE kits and these are able to be readily replenished.

We are complying with industry guidelines and particular client and/or site requirements for site access and on-site activities.

What Support Services do you provide to your Personnel?

Our personnel and their families have access to our Employee Assistance Program, and we actively promote the availability of Industry and Union programs, such as Incolink and Mates in Construction.

How do you monitor employee overseas travel and manage return to work?

On 7 February 2020, we sent a mandatory survey to all staff to identify possible exposure to COVID-19. Since that time and with the situation continuing to change (and notwithstanding current travel bans), we require all employees who are planning to travel overseas to notify us and keep us updated of their travel plans.

We are continuously monitoring the advice and directives of relevant government authorities and implementing their recommendations.

On the basis of current Federal government advice:

  • Employees who return from overseas must isolate for 14 days from the date of return in full accordance with Government requirements.

We also require:

  • Any employees who have isolated for 14 days after their return from overseas are required to seek approval before returning to work.
  • Employees who have been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19 must notify us and isolate themselves for 14 days after the date of the last contact with the confirmed case.
  • Any employees displaying the identified COVID-19 symptoms (fever, flu-like symptoms such as coughing, sore throat and fatigue, shortness of breath) are required to seek medical assistance, notify us and seek approval before returning to work.

We require all employees to notify us if any of these situations apply.

We have communicated with our sub-contractors and service providers requiring their assurance that they have the recommended protocols in place for people returning from overseas travel and/or returning from self-quarantine and that they continue to monitor and apply government directives and advice.

How are you managing potential supply chain impacts of COVID-19?

The A.G. Coombs Group is working closely with our clients, sub-contractors and suppliers to ensure that we continue to deliver our services, and to identify and manage possible supply chain issues and other implications.

We are continually communicating with our sub-contractors and service providers requiring their assurance that they have the recommended protocols in place for people returning from overseas travel or identified with COVID-19 or having come in contract with COVID-19 and that they continue to monitor and apply government directives and advice.

Additionally, to date, we have been assured of their ability to support the delivery of our services.

Does your company carry adequate stock/spares to service my facility?

We have direct and continuous feedback from our suppliers of key replacement systems components and typical consumables, to date, we have been assured that there is adequate availability of these parts and materials, and they do not see supply issues based on current stock levels and those currently in transit. We are actively monitoring the situation and remain in close contact with our suppliers.

With general parts and consumables, there are often multiple alternate supply sources.

Where we have contractual requirements to hold defined spares and or consumables, these are in place.

Does your company have contingencies in place to be able to service my facility?

The A.G. Coombs Group has a Business Continuity Plan in place to ensure we continue to operate effectively for our valued clients and industry partners.

We believe we have adequate resources in place to address foreseen requirements. Should you have any particular concerns with regard to your requirements please contact your Contract Manager or Project Manager.

Will your goods and services be impacted due to a building or business shutdown?

The Australian building construction and building services industry has proactively advocated to all Governments, the importance and essential nature of the services provided to buildings in order to keep them operating safely and effectively, particularly in identified critical facilities including healthcare, government and civil defence, and telecommunications and data processing.

Additionally, the essential services maintenance services as provided by the A.G. Coombs Group are central to building-related Essential Services legislation in all State and Territory jurisdictions.

We are currently engaged in working closely with our clients in supporting the operations of multiple critical facilities along with the construction of new and repurposed medical facilities, new and repurposed pharmaceutical and vaccine manufacturing facilities and new data processing capabilities.

We assure you of our continued focus and support in the operation of your critical facilities.

To access further COVID-19 information resources, visit our COVID-19 Building Services Resources page.