Construction COVID compliance blitz in Victoria

Wednesday, 15 September, 2021

Construction COVID compliance blitz in Victoria

A four-week blitz will be carried out on Victorian construction sites to ensure that they remain COVID safe.

With construction sites now considered a major source of transmission in Victoria’s latest outbreak, the state government has launched the blitz to ensure that the sector can remain open.

It will be carried out by the government’s Industry Enforcement and Engagement Operation, in partnership with Worksafe Victoria and the Victorian Building Authority.

Many people working in construction are young, highly mobile and unvaccinated. Given the increased public health risks, the joint operation will have a ‘zero tolerance’ approach and will apply fines and prohibition notices to fix any serious non-compliance.

The blitz will be supported by additional engagement with the construction industry, including targeted engagement with small to medium-size construction businesses to support subcontractors in understanding their obligations under the CHO Directions.

To increase vaccination coverage among construction workers, Victoria will open the doors of four major vaccination centres to walk-ups without a booking, every day until 26 September. It will also release thousands of further priority Pfizer appointments for the sector, and provide unlimited access to AstraZeneca.

The Ford Campbellfield site, the Heidelberg Repat, Eagle Stadium in Wyndham and the former Bunnings in Melton will open for walk-ups for construction workers from 8 am until 11 am over the next fortnight.

The Ford and Repat sites will open again for walk-ups daily between 5 pm and 8 pm, with the Wyndham and Melton sites open for walk-ups between 5 pm and 6 pm on Thursdays and Fridays. Pfizer will be offered to attendees under the age of 60.

Some 20,000 further priority Pfizer appointments will be made available to construction workers at all sites across Victoria (excluding drive-through sites). All workers should book via the coronavirus hotline.

AstraZeneca walk-ups will be available for construction workers at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre each afternoon from 3 pm for a fortnight. The government will also provide Incolink, an industry fund supporting construction workers, with unlimited supply of AstraZeneca for its COVID-19 construction vaccination program.

Anyone who works at a site where civil works, building or construction activities take place, including contractors and architects working onsite, will be eligible.

“Our construction industry is critical to our state, but what is even more important is vaccinating each and every Victorian so we can slow the spread of the virus,” Treasurer Tim Pallas said.

“The construction sector’s ability to remain open is on a knife’s edge, and to ensure they can keep building, people need to get vaccinated and follow the rules.”

Image credit: © Shelomova

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