COVID-19 advice for Accredited Companies

This page contains information and guidance on managing COVID-19 on building and construction sites for companies accredited, or seeking accreditation, under the Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme.
 
Companies seeking guidance on specific company or audit scenarios should contact the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner at ofsc@jobs.gov.au.
 
Further information is available through:
 
State and Territory safety Regulators:
 
 
COVID-19 Update: Victoria OFSC Audits - 8 July- 8 July 2020
 
The Victorian Government has announced Stay at Home Directions for metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire from 11:59pm on Wednesday 8 July until 11.59pm on Wednesday 19 August to help stop the spread of COVID-19 following the renewed outbreak in Melbourne. As always, the OFSC is mindful of the need to balance preventative measures to stop the spread of COVID-19 with the critical need to ensure worker safety. As such, the OFSC will temporarily adjust its audit program in the lockdown region in line with program adjustments made during the height of the pandemic.
 
 
The Federal Safety Commissioner has announced updates to the temporary adjustments introduced on 27 March 2020 to OFSC operations and audits as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. This comes as Governments across Australia are taking steps to ease COVID-19 restrictions, based on the latest health advice. In line with the easing of restrictions and the move by some state/territory regulators to return to their proactive audit regimes, the OFSC will also begin a transition back to a full onsite audit program.
 
 
Managing the mental health of workers is an ongoing challenge for the building and construction industry. The added pressures of COVID-19 restrictions have the potential to negatively impact the mental health of workers, particularly physical distancing and isolation measures. Changes to the way work is done during the pandemic can also be a source of angst for many. This article provides some references to websites may be provide useful for building and construction companies aiming to minimise mental health risks for workers.
 
- 13 May 2020
 
The OFSC spoke with Lendlease Building’s Head of Environment, Health and Safety, Ross Trethewy regarding the company’s management of COVID-19 as the pandemic emerged, and the steps they took in the wake of two confirmed COVID-19 cases on one of their worksites.
 
 
The FSC’s Industry Reference Group (IRG) held a special meeting late last month to exchange information and experience in managing COVID-19 in the building and construction industry.
 
 
Federal Safety Commissioner, David Denney, has published practical guidance for accredited companies on minimising the spread of COVID-19 onsite in line with the requirements of the Work Health and Safety Accreditation Scheme.
 
 
Minimising the risk of COVID-19 exposure introduces new safety risks on building and construction sites. Industry specific advice on dealing with these risks is available on the SWA website.
 
 
The FSC has introduced temporary changes to the audit processes used by the OFSC in administering the WHS Accreditation Scheme. These adjustments have been made to help complement the nation-wide effort to combat COVID-19 while continuing the essential work of the Scheme which aims to ensure that building and construction workers get home safely every day.