Construction guidelines released for COVID-19 outbreak

Construction guidelines adopted and agreed between a large group of unions and industry associations in Victoria have been released.

Construction works are currently continuing in Victoria.

The guidelines are applicable as of 25 March 2020 however the group has noted that further government announcements regarding COVID-19 may result in changes and the guidelines will be updated as required.

Social distancing practices, personal hygiene and ensuring fresh light and air for workers are among the guidelines. Gathering in queues or groups is not allowed and it is suggested that employers should ensure a person on site is appointed as a monitor to ensure social distancing compliance.

To view the guidelines in full click here.

The purpose of the guidelines is to provide the industry in Victoria with direction to employers and workers for the steps required to best provide a safe and healthy environment.

One of the organisations involved with the creation of the guidelines, the Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) Victoria have also put out a statement in response to the pandemic.

CCF Victoria CEO, John Kilgour said our focus has been to ensure that the civil construction industry is committed to responding in a way that supports containment of the C-19 virus, and working with Government on minimising long and short-term economic and community implications for the industry.

At a national level the CCF has made representations to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister seeking their support to provide a number of exemptions for ‘civil construction workers and industry related personnel’ to allow workers in our industry to continue to cross borders.

This is for the purposes of working and managing civil construction sites across Australia, in lieu of recent state and territory border closure announcements.

“We have also requested that the ‘civil construction sector be clearly identified and listed as an ‘essential service’ – there is confusion and uncertainty in a number of sectors and is important that we receive absolute assurity as “lockdown measures” escalate,” Mr. Kilgour said.

A submission has also been lodged this week to the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister seeking the Federal Government’s support for the development of a ‘Civil Construction Procurement Payment Rescue Plan’ based on the Plan developed and adopted by the British Government.

Finally Mr. Kigour said that the association has made changes to many roles to enable remote working with some reduced hours.

His message to the construction industry was to be prepared.

“Business continuity plans must now be in place and be fluid to meet changing circumstances. CCF is here to help and support you through this difficult period. You are not alone,” Mr. Kigour said.

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