COVID-19 INFORMATION AND RESOURCES
As an association, 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.
Workplace restrictions – Victoria
Revision 10 of the Building and Construction Industry COVID-19 Guidelines was issued on 16 February 2021.
Consistent with DHHS Workplace Directions No 19, issued 12 February 221, the following are the major updates:
2021 – New variants of the Coronavirus
The guidelines acknowledge the risks posed by new variants of the coronavirus, the extended State of Emergency in Victoria and current Workplace Directions.
Public exposure sites
Worker declarations have been amended to ensure that people who have attended public exposure sites at the nominated times declared by the Department of Health do not attend sites.
Face masks are always required to be carried and worn, unless exemptions apply.
Density quotient/physical distancing
The total number of workers in areas at any one time including in crib rooms, must meet the density quotient of 1 person per 2 square metres and ensure physical distancing of 1.5 metres is maintained.
Ventilation and air flow in enclosed spaces
Reference is included to the risk posed by airborne transmission of the coronavirus and measures that should be taken to improve ventilation and airflow in enclosed areas.
Employers are reminded to amend their Construction COVIDSafe Plans accordingly and to consult with employees and their representatives.
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/
As an industry, we play a vital role in the Australian economy and society. We help to meet the nation’s infrastructure needs, delivering world-class construction projects across the infrastructure construction, commercial and residential building, renewables, resources, telecommunications, oil & gas and environmental services sectors.
The nation’s third-largest sector, we contribute $137bn (Gross Value Added), representing 7.2% of Australia’s total economic activity. Our industry employs 1.17 million people or 9.6% of total employment and accounts for approximately one-third of all registered businesses.
The importance of the construction sector to the Australian economy cannot be understated. Through the design, development and delivery of essential infrastructure, we are vital to long-term economic growth with every $1 spent on infrastructure boosting economic activity by nearly $3 through the beneficial flow on to the sector’s supply chain and associated industries.
As an association, we will continue to advocate for our sector, while reinforcing support for appropriate measures to be taken by all parties to minimise the spread of COVID-19. This will ensure that our sector is positioned to lead the nation’s economic recovery.
Chief Executive, Jon Davies has been active in the media, supporting our sector and ensuring we can continue to deliver essential works across Australia.
Australian Financial Review, 6 August 2020 – ACA CEO Jon Davies today welcomed the latest clarifications on Level 4 restrictions from the Victorian Government but noted that more clarification was required. Read more: https://www.afr.com/property/commercial/tradies-get-a-reprieve-but-735-construction-projects-still-at-risk-20200806-p55j30
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.