When COVID-19 broke out across the country the much-loved community gatherings had to come to a halt, but receiving our international freight and product could not.
Having only recently joined the company, David, a Warehouse Operator in Williamtown, NSW, was settling into his new role enjoying working set hours and was quickly welcomed into a tight-knit community with regular catch ups. When COVID-19 restrictions were implemented, it affected not just the social aspect of his working routine but the way in which the team receive international freight when it lands on our shores.
As one of the first points of call when it comes to receiving our international freight and product, David and the team at Williamtown have had to adjust company procedures and how they would have traditionally accepted new freight and products from overseas, now taking all measures to ensure not only the team are safe and protected, but the freight, too.
“One of the major things that’s changed with receiving the freight is that the packaging could have been handled by any number of people and any number of circumstances before it gets to our door. So we’ve been holding freight that’s been newly received in a “contaminated area,” and nothing gets done with that freight until we’ve wiped it over with disinfectant,” he says.
‘‘We all understood that the freight was going to continue to arrive at BAE Systems and the upkeep of the planes was going to have to be continued’’
David says the team are taking all hygiene precautions to ensure whilst processing unknown source materials into BAE Systems’ possession, they remain completely COVID-safe throughout.
“Whoever is receiving the freight needs to wear gloves and wash their hands at the start and end of processing that freight, and that way we’re assured of removing as much as we can in terms of risk from handling unknown source materials.”
Despite the many day-to-day changes within everyone’s role, David says the team were happy to get on with completing the job and ensuring the maintenance of the planes was upheld in a strict covid-safe environment, securing the overall safety of the pilots.
“We all understood that the freight was going to continue to arrive at BAE Systems and the upkeep of the planes was going to have to be continued throughout whatever conditions we were going to face.”
“I think the biggest question we had in the warehouse was what we could do to mitigate the risk we were maybe going to face, and after we came up with a few ideas, everyone was pretty happy to get on with it.”
‘‘...there's a lot of good culture on site, like on Friday morning’s quite a few people would catch up for a big breakfast (before COVID-19)...so it's been a shame to see that go.’’
The way in which the team receives overseas freight isn’t the only aspect to change at Williamtown store. David says that the loss of community has been hard on the team over the past few months.
“One of the main impacts we’ve had with the coronavirus outbreak is that there's a bit of loss of community on site.”
“...there's a lot of good culture on site, like on Friday morning’s (before COVID-19), quite a few people would catch up for a big breakfast at the cafeteria and it's a good way of mingling with people, finding out what’s going on in the sort of broader site community during the week, so it's been a shame to see that go.”
David says he’s confident as soon as the team can continue back to pre COVID-19 community gatherings, they will.
“Everyone is hopeful that we’ll get back onto that as soon as the coronavirus restrictions have cleared up.”