Latest release of COVID-19 Guidelines for Victorian building industry

Published: 26 June 2020

At a time when Victoria is experiencing a spike in cases, it is important to reemphasise the importance of following the COVID-19 Guidelines for the Victorian building industry.

Following extensive consultation across industry, including input from the AMCA, the latest version (v4) of the Guidelines are now available, along with an Explanatory Note to identify the changes since the last version.

The guidelines have been developed by a group of industry associations and unions with assistance from the Victorian Building Industry Disputes Panel. They also reflect advice received from the relevant Government authorities, including WorkSafe and the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

 Download the Guidelines here.

 Download the Explanatory Note here.

Summary of changes

  • Inclusion of relevant guidance from WorkSafe following the release of their dedicated information page;
  • Inclusion of new flow charts to aid understanding of critical processes;
  • Improvements to the presentation, order and format of the guidelines; and
  • A summary added as attachment.

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.”