BOC South Pacific has taken a large number of measures to protect its employees and ensure its production sites remain open and operating to their full capacity amidst the coronavirus pandemic.

Over the past six weeks, the industrial gas corporation has banned all non-essential air travel both domestically and internationally since 9th March, banned non-essential visitors to all sites across the South Pacific and implemented rigorous social distancing at all sites.

Other risk mitigation actions the company has implemented include working from home where possible, increased cleaning and removing shift overlap times to minimise employee contact.

Managing Director John Evans said BOC South Pacific has a unique distribution network that provides robust delivery capabilities to support and supply products and services to BOC customers during emergency situations such as this.

“We have a long standing and comprehensive Contingency and Disaster Recovery Plan for all our facilities in South Pacific,” Evans explained in a statement.

“Nearly all of BOC gases are produced locally using BOC owned plants and equipment.”

“Across Australia and New Zealand BOC has eight-cylinder filling sites and nine air separation units (ASUs) producing our gases as well as five sources of carbon dioxide.”

“We manage every step in the production, packaging, logistics and distribution of gas from creation to delivery to our customers.”

“This ensures a flexible supply chain that can quickly respond to changing customer requirements in any location.”

“Due to our multiple production sites we have the unique ability to draw on our South Pacific network to ensure continuity if one or even multiple BOC production plants are temporarily closed.”

Medical gas supply

Due to an anticipated increase in medical gas requirements as a result of the ongoing escalation of coronavirus, BOC has taken proactive steps over the past six weeks to assist in meeting an increase in demand and to ensure patient safety.

Evans said these steps include:

  • Increased safety stock holdings of medical gases throughout our network of production sites and distribution points
  • Additional stocks have been moved away from our major filling facilities to key strategic sites, near major population densities. This has been implemented to mitigate risks if one of our major filling sites is required to temporarily close.
  • Implementation of dedicated ‘medical cylinder filling employees’ that work separately from the rest of the workforce

“We have also taken steps to minimise the risk to the most vulnerable in our communities, our elderly,” Evans said.

“As a key supplier of medical gas and equipment to hospitals, medical facilities and aged care facilities we have now implemented dedicated aged care delivery trucks in our capital cities.”

“By doing this we minimise the risk of transference to an aged care facility from other medical facilities.”

Evans said BOC continues to monitor the situation and work with government, its customers and in particular its health and medical customers to ensure the company is able to continue providing ciritcal gases where and when they are needed.