COVID-19 Update – Revised OFSC Audit Arrangements in Victoria

A message from the Federal Safety Commissioner, David Denney:

As the COVID-19 situation in Melbourne and greater Victoria continues to evolve and alter the way work in the building and construction industry is done, it’s important that the operations of the OFSC continue to reflect the broader changes happening in industry.

Considering current medical advice and having reviewed safety risks to workers of accredited companies and to Federal Safety Officers (FSOs), I advise that the OFSC will further modify its audit activities in Melbourne and across Victoria until COVID-19 restrictions ease.

From today, I am limiting audits in the Melbourne area to responding to serious safety incidents and fatalities only. While the remainder of Victoria is only in Stage 3 restrictions, I will be adopting the same approach to audits across Victoria as in Melbourne given the risks of further spreading COVID-19 to uninfected/less infected areas posed by utilising FSOs who move between Stage 4 and Stage 3 restricted areas to conduct work.

I recognise that for a small number of companies this may mean the opportunity to become accredited is delayed due to audits not being conducted in Victoria in the short term. This is an unfortunate but necessary consequence of putting the health and safety of all Victorians first.

This is an unprecedented time for the building and construction industry and there have been many examples of collaboration to address the risks posed by COVID-19. For accredited companies continuing to operate, please maintain your great work keeping one eye on COVID-19 risks and the other on the high-risk construction activities you undertake every day.

As always, my Office is here to assist you and answer any questions you may have. The OFSC will continue to assess the impacts of COVID-19 on its operations and will provide further updates as changes to the way we work are required.