COVID-19

Latest release of COVID-19 Guidelines for Victorian building industry - Version 5

Published: 15 July 2020

As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 continues to rise at an alarming rate in Victoria, AMCA members are strongly encouraged to read and implement the latest version (v5) of the COVID-19 Guidelines for the Victorian building industry.

 Download the Guidelines here.

 Download the Explanatory Note here.

Summary of changes

The Chief Health Officer and the DHHS has now recommended that adults in the Melbourne metropolitan area and the Mitchell Shire wear a face mask when outside of their home, if it is difficult to keep 1.5 meters apart from other people.

For building and construction sites the practicality of this new advice is simply to use masks:

  • When travelling to and from work where you cannot physically distance and on public transport
  • Whenever travelling in a hoist or lift
  • In a confined space. Any uncertainty should be clarified with a health and safety representative
  • Travelling in a vehicle with other people When operating an item of plant with another person.

Furthermore, all sites should undertake a risk assessment to determine if temperature screening is a reasonably practical/suitable control for the site.

About the Guidelines

Amid the uncertainty caused by the outbreak of COVID-19, employer groups and trade unions from across the Victorian building and construction industry have come together to collate, share and develop information that can help our respective memberships.

As a result of this approach, the industry has developed the COVID-19 Guidelines for the Victorian Building and Construction Industry for both employers and workers to help manage the various risks posed by COVID-19.

For our industry to stay safe and open, it is critical that everyone commits to these guidelines.

The guidelines have been developed as part of the Building Industry Consultative Committee (BICC), which is a high-level advisory council to the Minister for Industrial Relations. It is made up of employers, industry associations, unions and Government.

The BICC advises the Minister on economic, workplace and industrial relations issues affecting Victoria’s building and construction industry.

Importantly, the guidelines have also been informed by relevant Government authorities including WorkSafe and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The Guidelines provide a single point of reference for all employers and workers across all sectors of the building and construction industry, dealing with matters such as:

  • general safety measures;
  • work organisation;
  • redesigning site amenities;
  • developing and implementing social distancing policies;
  • appointing hygiene leaders within the business; and
  • organisation of multiple start and finish times on site. physical distancing,
  • responding to positive COVID-19 cases;
  • cleaning and disinfection of worksites; and
  • other related matters.

In first releasing the guidelines, Chair of the BICC, Peter Parkinson, said the industry needs to be focussed on the safety of its people as a first priority, followed by keeping people employed.

“We can only do that if we all commit to the new way of working", said Mr Parkinson. "These guidelines provide the best way to achieve that.”

He said there had been tremendous collaboration between all parties, focussed to keep this industry and the community safe.

“All the leaders in this industry are committed to delivering vitally important infrastructure and buildings safely”.

He said the Council welcomed and endorsed comments from the Prime Minister and the Premier in recognising the industry as an essential service. Mr Parkinson said “the Council members have been assured by the relevant health and safety authorities that by complying with these guidelines the industry can keep people safe, employed and contributing to the economy.

If employers or workers do not comply with the Guidelines, they are being unsafe to themselves and to the wider community, and these sites will need to be shut down. There should be no compromise. The safety of workers, their families and the community must come first.”