To: CCF Victoria staff, members and stakeholders.
Following on from my CEO update last Wednesday, 15 July, we have continued to see a rise in the number of positive COVID-19 cases being reported across the State.
There were 363 new positive cases reported in Victoria yesterday, up from 217 on Friday. The Victorian Government and Chief Health Office have just announced that the wearing of face masks (or coverings) will be compulsory for all Victorians in the restricted areas from midnight Wednesday, 22 July.
Only one further exposure to a positive case has been reported to the Building & Construction Industry Liaison Officer over the weekend. An electrical supervisor has been isolated as a close contact of a positive case and as a precaution, 2 electricians working in close contact with him have also being isolated pending a negative test result. Whilst this is not a DHHS direction, many contractors are adopting a cautious approach to these situations, which are becoming commonplace.
The total number of positive cases in the Building & Construction Industry since 20 March, stands at 45. For information about coronavirus, or to find your nearest testing site, visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call 1800 675 398.
Physical Distancing & Face Masks
The big news today is that people living in metropolitan Melbourne and Mitchell Shire will now be required to wear a face covering when leaving home for one of the four reasons, following a concerning increase in coronavirus cases in recent days. Based on the latest advice from the Chief Health Officer, the State Government will be enforcing the use of face masks after 11.59pm on Wednesday 22 July. The fine for not wearing a face covering will be $200.
There will be some reasons not to wear a face covering. For example, those who have a medical reason, kids under 12 years of age, those who have a professional reason or if it’s just not practical, like when running – however you will still be expected to carry your face covering at all times to wear when you can.
Victoria Police will be “stepping up” their enforcement of physical distancing directions of the Chief Health Officer on worksites. WorkSafe, Emergency Management Victoria and Victoria Police will focus on “at-risk” workplaces, including distribution centres, call centres and meat processing centres. This comes as evidence mounts that transmission of the virus is now commonly occurring at worksites – notably, meat processing plants and aged care centres.
The following poster has been produced by the building industry unions to inform their members of these strict requirements. No doubt this poster will feature prominently on sites this week, but don’t leave it at that – Head Contractors are asked to continue to reinforce the Industry Guidelines on your sites in respect to all matters including hygiene and physical distancing rules.
Trainers and teachers don’t have to wear a face covering while teaching – but students attending for VCE, VCAL or for onsite supervision will, while everyone will be expected to wear one on the way to and from classes. CCF is continuing to conduct, scheduled training at both Notting Hill and Holmesglen (Drummond Street) facilities and we are also continuing to provide on-site and apprenticeship training. If you have any questions regarding our training courses and delivery, please do not hesitate to go to the CCF website for updates https://www.ccfvic.com.au/training-courses/about-civil-train/, or ring the CCF team on 1300 DIAL CCF.
In coming days, the State Government will be working with Victorian industry, including CCF, and unions, to provide appropriate advice to workplaces. I will keep all CCF members abreast of developments in this regard.
Regional Victoria and outside restricted areas
Face coverings in regional Victoria continue to be recommended in situations where maintaining 1.5 metres distance is not possible – however regional Victorians will have to wear a mask when visiting metropolitan Melbourne or Mitchell Shire for one of the permitted reasons.
State of Emergency
The State of Emergency is being extended until 11.59pm on 16 August 2020, allowing for the enforcement of the above direction and other vital public health directions from the Chief Health Officer. The Government will continue to monitor data over the next fortnight. Compliance – and the rate of community transmission – will decide what they do next, and whether we move to Stage 4 restrictions.
$1500 – Support Payment for workers
The Victorian Government’s one-off $1500 worker support payment is still available to support Victorian workers, including those in aged care, who have been instructed to stay home because they’ve had a positive test or need to self-isolate as a close contact.
Practical Guide to Worksite Hygiene – Wednesday, 22 July 2020 (9am)
I look forward to hosting and moderating this Wednesday an important CCF Online Webinar to assist you practice effective hygiene measures and provide practical guidance and advice for civil contractors in the current COVID-19.
I will be joined by Michael Paynter (Industry Liaison Officer, VBA), Dr William Wong (Senior Medical Officer, CMS) and Kris Gretgrix (Construction Liaison Officer, WorkSafe Victoria). I cannot think of a better and more relevant time for you to hear and engage with recognised subject matter experts on COVID-19, who will also answer key questions raised during the session.
Cost: CCF Members: Free
NON-MEMBERS: $99 (inc. GST) per attendee
RSVP Monday, 20 July, 2020
For bookings, please go to the CCF website via the attached link https://www.ccfvic.com.au/events/worksite-hygiene-webinar/ Or call the CCF team on 1300 DIAL CCF for more details.
Until my next update …. keep well – keep safe.
CEO, CCF Victoria