The PSA urges members in NPWS to follow all safety precautions to minimise the impact of COVID-19.
Member safety at work is of paramount importance. Each area of NPWS should have a Job Safety Analysis (JSA) that is reviewed daily. Every member should be being consulted on safety on a daily basis and provided with the tools, equipment and procedures to ensure a safe work environment is being provided by your employer.
If you are not being provided with consultation, safety equipment and clear direction on how to remain safe in the workplace at this time, speak to your direct supervisor. If the issue is not resolved, contact the PSA.
Members should be using flexible working arrangements to achieve social distancing at work, in consultation with their supervisor and team. Every member who is in a position that is suitable for working from home should submit an application to their supervisor to allow working from home.
While NPWS continues to operate, it is not necessary for everyone to be at work at the same time. Each area should be implementing flexible work arrangements, using working from home, undertaking work in the field, rostering or staggered start and finish times to maximise social distancing and minimise exposure to other staff.
The PSA encourages all members who can to either work from home or work in the field to do so, so that social distancing can be met.
All visitor centres and high-use visitor sites should have had a risk assessment undertaken and if staff safety through social distancing cannot be achieved, then the site should be closed.
If you are aware of visitor centres or high-visitation sites that have not been assessed and feel that they provide an unsafe work environment, raise this with your manager and if the issue is not resolved, contact the PSA.
The PSA urges all members to not put themselves in an unsafe situation. If you see large numbers of people gathering in a park, or other situations or tasks that may expose you to the risk of contracting COVID-19, withdraw from the situation and contact your supervisor.
The PSA has written to NPWS Management, to consider as a matter of urgency the closure of all national parks in NSW for the protection of our members. The PSA has been inundated with calls from concerned NPWS members about the large number of visitors to national parks to escape the coronavirus.
The PSA has also written to NPWS advising casual staff who work in NPWS undertaking roles in visitor service functions or work in visitor centres be allocated other duties during those closures.