Construction By Design is continuing to closely monitor an outbreak of respiratory illness caused by a novel (new) coronavirus (COVID-19).

On 11 March 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic (an infectious disease outbreak that spreads on a global scale). Increasing cases of COVID-19 are now being confirmed in Australia. The situation is changing rapidly. We continue to access and monitor the latest information on COVID-19 from the Australian Government Department of Health.

Construction By Design will keep up to date with the latest COVID-19 information and advice to ensure that any action taken is appropriate. This includes closely monitoring the information provided by the Australian Government Department of Health, the Smartraveller website and advice from state or territory government agencies, including health departments and WHS regulators.

We will not be able to completely eliminate the risk of workers contracting COVID-19 while carrying out work. However, we will do all that is reasonably practicable to minimise that risk. Our control measures will be reasonably practicable and will depend on the work being carried out by workers and particular work sites.

We will continually monitor relevant information sources and update control measures when and if necessary. We will continue to provide information to workers, including changes to control measures, as the situation develops.

We have and will continue to provide workers with the following:

  • Continued access to official government sources for current information and advice.
  • Personal protective equipment and facilities, and information and training on how and why they are required to use them
  • Reminders to practice good hygiene, including:
    • Frequent hand washing
    • Limiting contact with others, including through shaking hands, and
    • Covering their mouths while coughing or sneezing

We have encouraged workers to remember, use and follow the below steps:

  • stay away from the workplace if you are unwell and not fit for work, we encourage you to seek medical advice as appropriate
  • seek advice from health authorities immediately if there has been a confirmed case of COVID-19 in our workplace
  • limit access to our workplace and sites by other people, unless necessary
  • reconsider work-related travel and implement other methods of communication
    • for example, rather than undertaking air travel to attend face to face meetings, facilitate attendance by telephone or videoconference
  • remember all workers have a duty to take reasonable care for their own health and safety and to not adversely affect the health and safety of others.
  • Use Vicky Lydon as a point of contact to discuss your concerns, and obtain access to support services (0401 800 566)
  • workers have access to available entitlements in line with obligations under any applicable enterprise agreement, award, employees’ contracts of employment, and workplace policies.

We encourage and welcome participation of our all workers in discussions about health and safety, as you are most likely to know about the risks of your work.

WHS laws require workers and other people at workplaces to comply, so far as they are reasonably able, with a reasonable instruction given by an employer to allow the employer to comply with the WHS laws. This means that workers are required to comply with a direction by their employer to remain away from their usual place of work, if they were reasonably able to and the instruction was reasonable in the circumstances.

Constant communication between Construction By Design and you and our workers will help to ensure that everyone understands the policies and procedures we have put in place and what is required to keep all workers safe at work.

Andrew Botros