Have plan, stay open

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Printers across Victoria have to have their Covid-safe plans up and running to stay open from now on, failure to have a plan could result in being ordered to close and copping large fines.

CMYKhub has a Covid-safe plan, do you?

The state government is allowing much of the manufacturing industry, including the printing industry, to continue under stage 4 lockdowns, but contingent on the Covid-safe plan being implemented.

Printers also have to ensure that all staff travelling to work are in possession of a permitted to travel document, which can be downloaded here, or face huge fines.

Government inspectors will be making random checks on businesses that are open to confirm they have a Covid-safe plan, and that they are on the approved list – all printers are on it.

As the state closes printers are looking at a thin six weeks. Premier Daniel Andrews ordered what are some of the harshest lockdown measures in the world, as it battles the fallout from its bungled hotel quarantine programme, with forced stay at home orders, business closures, mandatory masks, a 5km travel restriction, and a nightly curfew.

Andrews is now facing fierce criticism from business for what they see as an extreme response, and from journalists frustrated by his obfuscation at his press conferences over the hotel fiasco.

As far as supply to printers goes the two main paper merchants, Ball & Doggett and Spicers, both tell Print21 they have no issues with supply or delivery and say they will be operating as normal throughout the city and the state.

Sign companies, meanwhile, are facing confusion, with the printing side of their business allowed to function, but the installation side hampered by a ban on metal fabrication.

In other edicts, book, directory, and mailing publishers must work from home, while newspaper and magazine publishers can go to the office.

Commenting on print being placed in category 2 Andrew Macaulay, CEO at the PVCA said: "In a difficult situation this is really good news. The Victorian state government has listened to industry. We welcome the development."

Both major Australian heatset businesses IVE and Ovato have large print plants in Victoria, which also numbers some of the country's biggest commercial printers, label printers, packaging printers, book printers and trade houses among its community.

The country's other seven states and territories have so far kept a second wave at bay, although the biggest state economy NSW is, according to the government, walking a tightrope. Its treasurer, though, has signalled an unwillingness to close down business.

Under the Stage 4 restrictions, workplaces that remain open must:

  • Have a Covid-Safe Plan in place that is regularly updated (unless you are a small business with fewer than five employees)
  • Ensure that any workers who 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
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