Woodside has dropped plans for a 12-week work roster that were blasted by unions as "catastrophically unsafe".

In response to COVID-19 Woodside will move its onshore and offshore workers to a temporary roster of two weeks of isolation, four weeks work and then two weeks at home.

This roster is "still the worst in the industry" according to Daniel Walton, the spokesperson for the Offshore Alliance of two unions that covers offshore workers.

The Alliance had earlier described the longer roster of two weeks of isolation followed by 12 weeks of work as "catastrophically unsafe".

"Management should be hugely embarrassed they were able to even suggest a 14 week-on roster with a straight face," Walton said.

"But if the idea was to make the new proposal look good by comparison, it's fooled no one."

Japanese company Inpex, that operates two facilities off the Kimberley coast for the Ichthys LNG project will implement a roster of two weeks in isolation, three weeks offshore and then four weeks at home. Some workers will work a 2/2/2 roster.

Woodside's now-dumped longer roster option had included a bonus of at least $50,000 for completing the three months of work and was later changed to have 10 weeks at home.

The Offshore Alliance had called for the offshore safety regulator NOPSEMA to reject both roster options.

"How much is a suicide, marriage bust-up or depression worth on a Woodside offshore facility?" the Offshore Alliance asked on its Facebook page.

Most Woodside offshore workers are on platforms that provide gas to the North West Shelf project near Karratha that is a major supplier of gas to the WA market.

Woodside chief executive  Peter Coleman said he was proud that the Woodside workforce agreed to temporary changes to how they work.

Woodside has also offered accommodation for interstate employees and their families affected by the introduction of a "hard border" by WA that will only allow freight, essential workers and people travelling for compassionate reasons to travel from the eastern states.

They will be put up in now vacant hotels, motels and short-stay accommodation.


Update 12:45 PM March 31: New Offshore Alliance comments added.


Main Picture: Woodside Headquarters in Perth. Source: Woodside Energy Limited