Staff safety is always high priority and during this challenging period SAW Constructions is following COVID-19 guidelines from both the Government and the HIA to maintain the safest environment possible.
Our aim is to all stay healthy, work safely, and carefully power on with business as usual.
Firstly, there are 8 key measures that must be observed on our worksites to minimise the risk of exposure.
How we reduce the risk of infection
1. Make sure the Government’s social distance criteria are met at all times.
• Limit access to building sites to essential workers involved in activities on the given day.
• Apply the 1 person per 4 square metre rule for work in enclosed or internal spaces.
• Limit any external visitors or third parties (e.g. building inspections) to be by exception and timed when no one else is on the site besides the builder and/or the site supervisor.
• Provide all the necessary clear work zones and work stations for dedicated tasks.
2. Make sure self-isolation rules are met.
• Keep any person with cold, flu or similar symptoms away from sites until the symptoms have passed or a negative test has been provided to the site supervisor.
• Enforce the 14 day self-isolation policy for any person coming from overseas or from interstate.
• Keep any person who has been in close contact and required to self-isolate, off site.
3. Be sure adequate hygiene facilities are provided on site.
• Provide the adequate cleaning products and facilities for all workers on site.
• Implement regular hand washing schedules.
• Regularly (at least daily) clean and disinfect all common areas.
• Clean shared tools or plant equipment before and after each use.
• Increase ventilation on building sites where internal work is being done.
4. Make sure all workers have access to appropriate safety equipment.
• Provide all workers with access to personal protective equipment, including masks, gloves and eye protection, appropriate to the work being performed on site.
5. Manage project schedules to minimise overlaps and numbers of people on site.
• Implement a ‘no more than 6 workers on a house’ rule.
• Schedule sub-trades and work to minimise people who are on site, and have designated work zones away from the other workers performing different tasks.
• Schedule any regulatory inspections and checks to implement a one only on site check (builder/manager and inspector).
• Schedule/stagger break times for workers, e.g. lunch and morning break to avoid on-site gatherings at these times.
6. Facilitate contactless deliveries, payments and travelling out of peak times.
• Go contactless as much as practicable with all orders and all site deliveries.
• Maintain work sites operation times that allow workers to travel to and from sites during off peak times.
7. Facilitate site inductions and updates on latest Government requirements.
• Undertake on-site inductions before allowing anyone on a site.
• Conduct regular ‘tool box’ discussions that enable workers to keep informed on risks and hazards, specifically about the latest Government COVID-19 updates.
• Inform all workers of the steps that will be taken if a person enters the site with the virus, or advise the site supervisor that they have been in close contact.
8. Managing the customer.
• Confirm before entering a work site that nobody else on site has recently returned from overseas, or is showing symptoms, or has the virus.
Our Covid-19 Immediate Response Plan
Saw Constructions also has an ‘Immediate Response Plan’ with actions to be taken if a staff member develops Covid-19 symptoms or is confirmed as a known case.
ACTIONS TO BE TAKEN IF A WORKER DEVELOPS COVID-19 SYMPTOMS, OR IS CONFIRMED AS HAVING THE VIRUS:
1. Send the individual home or advise them not to come to work:
• Ensure you have their contact details to communicate with them, and advise that they must stay available for contact.
• Employees to be advised that SAW will follow direction and guidance from the relevant authority regarding when employees are able to safely return to work, or to the area.
2. Notify Site Manager and confirm agreed process:
• If the Site Manager cannot be contacted, send an SMS reading – “URGENT COVID19” and then contact the Project Manager as well as Andrew Allen.
3. If notification of a confirmed case has occurred before or outside work/shift hours:
– Commence notifying department workforce not to come to work until advised.
– Advise of a suspected case and that we are liaising with the Department of Health to make sure appropriate and safe process is followed.
If notification of a confirmed case has occurred during work:
• All the team members must be briefed.
• Maintain social distancing – do not bring people together.
• Must be urgent – notification needs to happen quickly.
• People can react differently – need to manage and prevent panic.
• Determine who else may have been in close contact – maintenance, electrical, contractor etc.
4. All employees in the individual’s department (or known to have been in contact with the confirmed case) are to be sent home immediately to self – isolate until further notice:
• Manage the evacuation – wardens must be utilised to manage it safely & efficiently
• Employees will need to be contacted during & after the investigation:
– They need to be contactable by phone
– The contact details need to be up to date
• AKD will be contacted by, or contact the Health Authority and will follow direction re: what process is required and if or when it’s safe for individuals to return to work.
• Need to include contractors and visitors in the process
5. Safe shut down of area/department and prevent access to the area:
• Consideration needs to be given to safe/specific shut down requirements for the department:
• How will it be done safely and efficiently without exposing more personnel,
• Preventing or introducing additional risks (i.e. if there is any excavation or temporary propping that needs to be made safe)?
• No one is to enter the area during/following the evacuation process:
• Consider truck drivers (internal & external), contractors, cleaners etc.
6. Site Manager to lead the commencement of investigation:
• The investigation is to be focused specifically on who the person has been in contact with and exactly where have they been?
• Must be conducted quickly
• Determine the individuals who have met the ‘close contact’ definition:
– Face to face interaction of more than 15 minutes, or
– 2 hours working in same room / enclosed area
7. Notifying the next shift:
• Employees who are due to start work in the affected department for the next shift are to be informed, and advised not to return to work until further notice.
8. Initiate Deep Clean:
• Deep clean process is to commence.
• This may change pending advice from the relevant authority.
9. Investigation findings are to be reported to the Crisis Manager who will then advise next steps:
• Advise all those deemed as having close contact, and the areas the individual had been to.
10. Approval of recommencement:
• The effected persons are not to recommence work activities until approval is sought from Andrew or Steve.
Following all these Covid-19 work-safe protocols puts SAW in the best position to stay healthy and protect our people, our families and livelihoods.