Sourcing face masks for your business

There is currently ample supply of face masks in Victoria for businesses and community members.

But if your business has not been able to source face masks for use in the workplace through normal retail and wholesale channels, help is at hand.

The Victorian Government has partnered with the Victorian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to assist businesses struggling to find supply.

The Business Access to Masks Service (BAMS) helps businesses that cannot access masks through the normal channels.

Who needs to wear face masks?

If you live within metropolitan Melbourne or regional Victoria you must wear a face mask whenever you leave home, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so. A face mask needs to cover both your nose and mouth. This means that face shields, bandanas, scarves or loose snoods, loose buffs or neck gaiters will no longer be classified as a sufficient face covering. Further information is available on the DHHS website.

As an employer, do I need to require my staff to wear face masks?

Yes. At workplaces located within metropolitan Melbourne or regional Victoria, you and your staff must wear a face mask at work, and to and from work, unless you have a lawful reason for not doing so. A face mask needs to cover both your nose and mouth.

For employers, this means ensuring employees wear a face mask while at work, unless an exception applies. 

Do I need to supply my staff with face masks?

Employers should encourage their employees to bring their own face masks where possible. However there is an obligation for employers to provide a mask if an employee does not have a face mask.

Employers have a responsibility to identify whether there is a risk to the health of employees from exposure to coronavirus (COVID-19) at their workplace, as well as areas where employees are unable to stay 1.5 metres apart.

Employers and employees have legal duties under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004. See WorkSafe Victoria and Safe Work Australia for information about minimising health risks in your workplace.

I need to supply face masks for my staff. What should I do?

There is currently ample supply of face masks in Victoria for the community and businesses to purchase through retail and wholesale channels.

If you are having trouble purchasing face masks through your regular suppliers, check the Victorian Government’s COVID-19 Medical Equipment and PPE Supplier Directories to view local manufacturers who supply single-use or reusable masks.

The directories will be updated regularly as more businesses develop manufacturing capability.

I’m still having trouble accessing face masks. What should I do next?

If you are still having trouble accessing face masks, call the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15.

Business Victoria can assist you with information on where and how to access masks and has up to date knowledge on stock levels at major outlets. If you still cannot access masks, Business Victoria will refer you to the Business Access to Masks Service (BAMS).

How does the Business Access to Masks Service work?

If you have an urgent requirement for face masks and cannot source them from your regular suppliers, you may be able to purchase from a limited supply of masks the Victorian Government has set aside for industry to purchase.

Your Business Victoria representative will refer you to the Victorian Chamber to assist you further.

The Chamber is responsible for the sale and distribution of masks available through BAMS.

Can I call the Victorian Chamber directly to discuss the Business Access to Masks Service?

Yes. You can call the Victorian Chamber directly, but you must be able to demonstrate you cannot access face masks in the marketplace and you must have already spoken with Business Victoria.

If you have done so and you are still having trouble accessing masks, you can contact the Chamber on 03 8662 5477 and at COVID19@victorianchamber.com.au.

Do you manufacture PPE equipment and want to be included on the Victorian Government’s database?

Local PPE manufacturers can register their interest and capability directly on to the Victorian Government’s online portal.

In addition, if your business would like to be listed on a supplier directory of PPE equipment, you can register this by contacting the Victorian Government’s dedicated email address: medicalPPEsupplies@djpr.vic.gov.au.

If your business manufactures face masks and is interested in being included on the Victorian Government’s Mask Manufacturers Directory, this can be arranged by contacting the above email address too. 

 

Confused around the recent changes to laws and face masks? Keep your employees and business safe with our COVID-19 guide to face masks: