Guidelines for construction workers – Here’s what you need to know.

With building and construction sites across the country still up and running, it’s more important than ever to have controls and measures in place in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Setting up controls on worksites with multiple trades, and with people needing to work closely together, can feel pretty overwhelming. So we’ve put together a list of key steps you can implement to ensure the safety of you and your teams throughout your working day.
Many of these controls include shift-based working, staggered lunch breaks, flexible leave arrangements and physical distancing, but there are also other steps you can take, which we’ve broken down below.

 

Health check before entering site

1. Have you travelled recently
2. Have you been in contact with a known case
3. Have you had signs/symptoms

Asking these three questions before anyone enters your site is an important way to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If anyone answers yes to any of the questions, they should seek medical advice and not be allowed to proceed.

 

Physical distancing

Physical distancing means keeping yourself out of any situation where you come into face-to-face contact with others closer than 1.5 metres away, or two arms lengths. People should also travel in separate vehicles in order to maintain the 1.5m distance.
Please remember, this is about physical distance – not social distancing. We recommend that you should keep in touch with friends and family via the phone, or online.

 

Stagger lunch breaks and team meetings

In order to maintain physical distancing, it’s important that events such as lunch breaks or team meetings are managed differently. Staggering lunch breaks will help to minimise the contact you have with others, as well as holding team meetings over the phone, or via a video call, or even out in the open air, as long as you maintain the 1.5m distance.

 

Wash your hands

Personal hygiene is key. Before and after any task, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and dry with a paper towel. Or you can use hand sanitiser, just make sure you rub it into your hands for 20 seconds.
There are also alternate ways in which we can keep our hands clean, especially if you’re on the move, without the use of hand sanitiser ( which is seemingly hard to get hold of!).
We recommend that you always carry the following items, which will allow you to wash your hands, wherever you are.

  • Bucket or bowl
  • Bottles of water
  • Any type of soap
  • Single use paper towels

 

Avoid sharing items with others – PPE, hand tools, machinery to knives and forks.

As well as avoiding contact with each other, it’s important that we minimise sharing different types of items with each other, as this can contribute to the spread of COVID-19. We recommend that you only use your own PPE, hand tools, machinery and cutlery. If you are not able to do so, it’s important that you clean the surfaces of any tools or machinery with disinfectant.

Track people on and off-site, including couriers and deliveries

Put measures in place so that in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in your workplace, you have a documented list of everyone who may also have been exposed to the virus. This can be done by ensuring everyone who enters and leaves the workplace has signed in and out.  If you receive deliveries or couriers, set up a designated location for items to be delivered. Make sure that everyone who enters the workplace has been asked the 3 key questions – this includes deliveries and couriers.

 

Segregation of trades on site

Planning the way you work a little differently can make all the difference. If you are working around other trades or people not in your business, it’s important that you plan the work to be done so you are not in each other’s work space or even better, limit to one trade at a time on site. If you have to work closely with others, enforce the 1 person per 4m2 rule.

For more information about these guidelines and how to manage COVID-19 on your building site, visit the SafeWork Australia website below.

Safework Australia

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