COVID-19 INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
The Australian Constructors Association is committed to the wellbeing of everyone in our industry. To provide clarity, advice and essential resources during the COVID-19 pandemic, we have collated a range of information and resources to support our members, suppliers and partners in the safe operation of workplaces across Australia.
Rapid Antigen Testing
From Monday 27 September, construction in Greater Sydney, including the Blue Mountains and Wollongong, can resume with 100% of workers on site. This includes in the local government areas (LGAs) of concern.
From Monday 27 September the occupied premises limit of 5 workers outdoors will be removed for Greater Sydney including LGAs of concern. A person in an LGA of concern who does prescribed work in an outdoor area of a place of residence will be an authorised worker, which means they can leave their LGA to work provided they adhere to the requirements that apply to all authorised workers.
Construction workers from the LGAs of concern can attend construction sites in Greater Sydney as authorised workers if they meet minimum vaccination conditions. They must provide evidence they have:
- had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, or
- had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine at least 21 days ago, or
- had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine within the preceding 21 days and have been tested for COVID-19 within the preceding 72 hours, or
- a certified medical contraindication and has been tested for COVID-19 within the preceding 72 hours.
NSW Health has approved rapid antigen testing for implementation at worksites across NSW. A guidance document has been developed and can be found on the NSW Government website. A person can attend work whilst waiting for their surveillance test result.
Permits for leaving or entering LGAs of concern
From Saturday 28 August 2021, workers leaving or entering an LGA of concern will need to register for a permit. Information is available at Service NSW.
COVID-19 Safety Plan for Greater Sydney
All construction sites in Greater Sydney must have a COVID-19 Safety Plan in place. The plan was developed by the NSW Government in consultation with industry and the unions. It is also recommended for all construction sites in NSW.
Operational guidance for contact risk assessment for community workplace settings
The NSW Ministry of Health has published Contact risk assessment for community and workplace settings. The guidelines will help construction sites to self-assess and identify close and casual contacts on site.
Managing a COVID-19 case on site
Infrastructure NSW has developed a guidance document for industry who need to manage a COVID-19 positive case on site.
Extension of construction work days
Construction sites can operate on Saturdays, Sundays and public holidays until Christmas, as per the relevant Planning Order. On extended days, noisy works are not permitted and all reasonable noise reduction measures must be applied.
Construction restrictions in regional NSW
Construction sites that are permitted to operate in regional and rural NSW can have no more than one person per 4 square metres at the site at any one time. Workers from Greater Sydney must register for a permit if travelling more than 50km outside Greater Sydney. COVID-19 testing requirements apply. Construction workers from LGAs of concern in Greater Sydney are not permitted to travel outside of Greater Sydney for work.
Prescribed works in occupied premises (including residential dwellings) is permitted in Greater Sydney and regional NSW, except in the LGAs of concern, and is limited to two workers on site for indoor works. In the LGAs of concern, only prescribed works that are necessary can take place in indoor areas. From Monday 27 September the cap of five workers for prescribed work done outdoors will be removed across Greater Sydney, including the LGAs of concern There must be no contact between workers and occupants.
Framework for the provision of Rapid Antigen Screening for COVID
This Framework has been developed to guide the delivery of high quality, safe and appropriate rapid antigen screening for COVID. The Chief Health Officer has confirmed that, where the requirement for a rapid antigen test applies, of a kind approved by the Chief Health Officer, the approved process is set out in this document under the Rapid Antigen Testing Indicative Process.
The Victorian Government has announced restrictions on the Victorian construction industry will ease from 11.59pm on Monday, 4 October.
In order to work onsite, all workers will need to continue to carry an Authorised Worker Permit and have had at least one vaccine dose. Every construction site in Victoria must also have a designated fully trained COVID Marshal to ensure compliance with the Chief Health Officer‘s directions.
Prior to reopening, operators will be required to attest that they have implemented the CHO directions and every site will need to have an up to date vaccination register available for compliance checks at all times. Crib facilities may be used for the consumption of food and drink with strict density requirements and additional ventilation.
Up to five workers and a supervisor will be able to work onsite for small scale construction projects, and large scale sites can have up to 25 per cent of workers onsite. If crib rooms meet best practice and the entire workforce is fully vaccinated, large scale construction sites can have up to 50 per cent of workers onsite.
Projects on the State Critical Infrastructure list will operate at 100 per cent as long as crib rooms follow best practice guidelines.
Subject to continued high levels of compliance by the industry, workforce caps will progressively increase. At our 70 per cent double dose milestone, large scale construction can return to 100 per cent of its workforce.
Caps will be removed when Victoria reaches its 80 per cent target, and in addition, all onsite workers must be fully vaccinated by 13 November.
Fully vaccinated workers can travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria in order to work onsite.
Workers on state critical projects or large scale construction can also travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria if they have had a single dose, take an initial test before their first travel, then test twice per week until fully vaccinated.
To allow all sites to remobilise, workers who have had at least one vaccination dose will be able to enter a site prior to 5 October in order to undertake crib facility improvements, participate in a reinduction or receive deliveries.
View the COVID-19 Mandatory Vaccination Directions (No.2) and Workplace (Additional Industry Obligations) Directions (No. 43). Limited medical exemptions and proof-of-booking exceptions will apply, in line with previous requirements for residential aged care workers.
View the FAQs.
The Victorian Building and Construction Industry COVID-19 Guidelines (Revision 14) – 1 September 2021 can be found here.
More information on the Authorised provider and authorised worker permit is available on the coronavirus website.
More information specific to the construction industry is available on the construction sector page.
The following links will take you to the relevant health information and resources from the federal, state and territory governments:
- Victorian Government COVID-19 Information: https://www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-covid-19-daily-update
- New South Wales COVID-19 Information: https://www.health.nsw.gov.au/Infectious/covid-19/Pages/default.aspx
- Queensland COVID-19 Information: https://www.covid19.qld.gov.au/
- South Australian COVID-19 Information: https://www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/wps/wcm/connect/public+content/sa+health+internet/conditions/infectious+diseases/covid+2019/coronavirus+disease+2019+covid-19
- Western Australian COVID-19 Information: https://www.health.gov.au/news/health-alerts/novel-coronavirus-2019-ncov-health-alerthttps://ww2.health.wa.gov.au/articles/a_e/coronavirus
- Tasmanian COVID-19 Information: https://coronavirus.tas.gov.au/
- Northern Territory COVID-19 Information: https://coronavirus.nt.gov.au/
- Australian Capital Territory COVID-19 Information: https://www.covid19.act.gov.au/
Examples of Industry Best Practice
Our members are committed to the health and well being of our people and to ensuring that sites are managed in line with government advice. Across Australia projects have adapted their working practices, innovating every aspect of project delivery from remote back office working to socially distanced toolboxes and thermal testing procedures.
Across sites, Acciona has installed clear and prominent signage to remind to all team members of their obligations.
Clough’s logistics team on the BHP South Flank OHP Project were awarded crew of the month for their response to COVID-19 measures. They not only responded to COVID-19 measures by ensuring social distancing in crib rooms, organising additional cleaning and sanitisation, and identifying and eliminating fomite touch points, but they also safely achieved all the required milestones for the progression of the scope of work. In addition, they managed to raise funds for the Newman Women’s Shelter.
On Fulton Hogan sites, social distancing, masks, thermal scanning and handsfree sign-in processes are the norm, and all teams and contractors are playing their part in the wellbeing and health of each other and the community.
Laing O’Rourke has share detailed guidelines for all team members transitioning back to work following the easing of restrictions in some states, including a comprehensive return to work plan.
- COVID-19 Site Minimum Standards – https://nextgearsms.com/wp-content/uploads/200525-index-of-covid-19-site-minimum-standards-1.pdf
- Preparing to go back to the workplace again after self-isolation lifts – https://nextgearsms.com/wp-content/uploads/preparing-to-go-back-to-the-workplace-again-after-self-isolation-lift__.pdf
- Laing O’Rourke Return to Work Plan – https://nextgearsms.com/wp-content/uploads/Return-to-Workplace_Handbook_2020_V05.pdf
McConnell Dowell is ensuring that across every site, there are industry-leading measures in place to ensure the wellbeing of their team members including:
- Contactless site sign in and tracking of room usage through QR codes
- Temperature testing very person entering site
- Covid-19 drill undertaken (WorkSafe participated)
- Hand sanitiser on every desk and in every meeting room
- Daily communications and bulletins reinforcing social distancing, PPE requirements, stay at home if symptomatic
- Continual PPE compliance audits
In addition, all projects have implemented COVID-19 specific site-cleaning training for project peggies and cleaners delivered by professional occupational hygienists.