March 24, 2020

Construction sites must adhere to safety & hygiene practices

The CFMEU National Construction Division is calling on builders to adhere to the enhanced health and safety and hygiene practices that are necessary to combat the spread of coronavirus, as some union members report workplaces that are failing to properly comply.

“Maintaining the health and safety of construction workers is our absolute priority during this pandemic crisis and we need the entire industry to act responsibly and collectively to minimise the risk of infection on worksites,” said Dave Noonan, CFMEU National Construction Secretary.

“The union has heard from members that some worksites are not changing their practices or setups to meet the hygiene and safety measures that have been advised by medical authorities and mandated by the government.”

“This is not good enough. It is essential that the industry maintain all of the health and hygiene precautions that are required for construction workers to remain safe at work.”

“Members who are concerned that correct hygiene and safety practices are not being followed on worksites should contact the union immediately.”

“This includes measures like frequent hand washing; it means proper social distancing; it could mean the staggering of meal breaks; and, it may mean some situations where shifts are implemented in order to minimise the number of workers on sites in working areas at any one time.”

“All the amenities areas on sites such as lunchrooms, break rooms, and toilet areas need to be kept scrupulously clean and we need repeated cleaning on sites to ensure there is minimal opportunity for the virus to spread.”

“If our members believe that is not happening, if that there are breaches of hygiene or over- crowding on sites it is important they let the union know and we will come to the job.”

“It is absolutely critical that if anyone in the industry believes they may have the virus they must self-isolate and seek medical advice immediately.”

“The shut down of the construction industry would be devastating to workers and the economy. The key to keeping workers safe and the industry functioning and able to support all its people is enacting stringent health and safety protocols immediately.”