There are legislative changes and social expectations that plumbers need to be ready for, as Master Plumbers’ Frank Geremia OH&S and Return to Work Manager reports.
Industry leaders and government are becoming increasingly concerned about the level of complacency around COVIDSafe behaviours that are present across the community and now quite visible in the building and construction industry.
While there is little active COVID in Australia, we are still in a precarious position. Other parts of the world which are further advanced in the vaccine rollout are seeing an increase in Coronavirus transmission. Complacency is our biggest challenge and you only need to ride public transport or attend events to see the decline in social distancing and mask wearing, despite it still being mandatory in some situations. Our industry has world-class COVID Guidelines, which we continue to update and we will shortly publish this in a summary form.
While the Building and Construction Industry is not mandated to use the government’s QR Code service service, it is a strong recommendation that any business that is NOT currently using an electronic contactless system, to use the free QR Code Service. The government intends to turn off the API connectivity to the QR Code service for 3rd party providers (1Breadcrumb, Hammertech, Contact Harald and the like) on 28 May. Representations have been made to the government seeking assurances that this action will not impact on the ability and timeliness of the Department of Health Contact tracing team to respond to any future outbreak in our industry.
All Victorians aged 50 and older can now get their Astra Zeneca vaccination at any of the high throughput sites around the metro and regional areas. By the end of this week there are at least 30 sites linked to the 1800 675 398 booking number - with Melbourne Showgrounds and Sandown Racecourse opening this week. See https://www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au/vaccine for further information
Several members have enquired about the process to achieve the Gold Standard of compliance with the Industry COVID-19 Guidelines. This is a simple self-evaluation of compliance with the Guidelines undertaken by site safety committees via a checklist which is then kept on a register. It is hoped that any business that achieves this standard will benefit if we have an industry shutdown in the future.