Construction sites to mask up

Construction industry associates and unions yesterday updated their guidelines – Revision 5 of the COVID-19 Guidelines for the Building and Construction Industry Victoria – following the Chief Medical Officer’s recommendation to all adult Victorians living in areas impacted by stage 3 restrictions to wear face masks when outside the home if it is difficult to keep 1.5 metres apart.

The latest guidelines update – a joint “emergency” publication by industry groups such as Master Builders Australia, UDIA Victoria, the Property Council of Australia and trade unions – responds to the recent concerning increase in community transmission of COVID-19.

The updated industry guidelines advocate for the use of face masks:

  • When travelling to and from work whenever physical distancing rules cannot be observed, including on public transport
  • Whenever travelling in a hoist or lift
  • When in a confined space
  • When travelling in a vehicle or operating plant or machinery with another person

The Victoria Building Authority is responsible for monitoring and enforcing the physical distancing rules on work sites and ensuring that managers of construction sites so far as is reasonably practicable keep their workplaces safe and without risks to health, as required under the Occupational Health and Safety Act 2004.

The VBA has published its own guidelines aimed at contractors and trades based on Revision 3 of the joint industry guidelines.

If you require further information on appropriate safety measures in response to COVID-19 on construction sites, please contact Peter Lettieri, Partner in our Building & Construction team on (03) 8825 4800.