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New COVID-19 construction guidelines for Victoria

New guidelines for the Victorian construction industry have been agreed to by a group of unions and industry associations in response to the COVID-19 outbreak.

With construction works currently continuing in Victoria, the guidelines aim to provide employers and workers the steps required to provide a safe and healthy environment.

The guidelines are applicable as of 25 March 2020, though further government announcements regarding COVID-19 may result in changes. 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.

Civil Contractors Federation (CCF) Victoria CEO, John Kilgour said its 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.

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At a national level, the CCF has sought the support of the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister 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,” 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.

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

“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,” he said.

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