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COVID-19 safety plan for small construction sites in Greater Sydney

There are two sets of rules for small construction sites based on whether they are unoccupied construction sites or occupied home renovation sites.

This resource sets out the approach to take for both types of sites. 

Step-by-step guide to COVID safety plans for unoccupied building site in Greater Sydney

All unoccupied residential building sites are permitted to be open under the current COVID-19 restrictions in place in Greater Sydney. There are several steps that a builder or principal contractor must take before opening a site to ensure that appropriate COVID safety measures are in place and that the NSW Government requirements are met.

Renovation work in an occupied home is also permitted during this lockdown, but different rules apply to the number of workers that are permitted to carry out that work and what workers are allowed to undertake the work. Details on renovation work in occupied homes is set out below in the ‘Step by step guide to COVID safety plans for occupied building sites in Greater Sydney’.

Before you open a building site

Step 1: Complete a COVID Safety plan for your site. 

The builder or principal contractor must prepare a COVID Safety Plan for each unoccupied new home site. 

The NSW Government provides an online COVID-19 Safety Plan for Construction Sites template that must be completed for each individual site. 

To assist members in completing the required responses to each of the questions, HIA has prepared the HIA Guide to completing your COVID-19 safety plan. The responses are based on using HIA’s COVID-19 Safety Plan for small construction sites plan and other supporting tools. 

You need to provide answers to all of the questions for every site. The responses are likely to be the same or similar across sites, but the site address and the nominated COVID marshal must be included for each site.

If you choose to use the HIA resources then you can make reference to this in your answers by referring to the relevant sections (1 – 5) of the HIA plan. There are some answers that are not applicable to small construction sites.

HIA’s Making space on site COVID-19 Safety Plan for small construction sites in Greater Sydney has been developed to assist members meet the requirement to have a plan in place.

It is not compulsory to use the HIA guide – members can choose to complete the template plan with any information you consider appropriate to respond to the questions. Please note is not sufficient to adopt the HIA plan and not complete an online plan via ServiceNSW.

Step 2: Save and print a copy of your completed COVID-19 Safety Plan.

Attach a copy of the HIA COVID-19 Plan for small construction sites in Greater Sydney if you have used this as your reference. You must have a copy of your COVID-19 Safety Plan on site, or readily available on request. 

Step 3: Provide a copy of the completed COVID-19 Safety Plan to relevant staff including site supervisors, COVID-19 marshals or WHS staff for the site.

Step 4: Print and place a copy of the HIA COVID-19 Safety Plan for small construction sites in Greater Sydney site sign (poster) on the building site in a visible location such as the fence. 

Ensure that the name of the COVID-19 marshal for the site is printed at the bottom of the poster. The sign can be printed in any size you prefer but we recommend at least A3. 

Step 5: Download a copy of the HIA COVID-19 Safety Plan Site Induction for Greater Sydney QR Code site sign and add the following details:

  1. business name and logo (optional - top right)
  2. enter the site address (middle line)
  3. enter the nominated email address you will use to collate all completed site inductions (bottom right – step 5)

Step 6: Print off the completed HIA COVID-19 Safety Plan Site Induction for Greater Sydney and place in a visible location on in the size you prefer (A4 or A3).

Prepare your site

Step 7: Request a Service NSW check-in QR code for the site, print a copy and place in a visible location on the site.

Step 8: Ensure a copy of your HIA COVID-19 Safety Plan for small construction sites in Greater Sydney is available onsite, for example this could be kept in a plastic sleeve onsite available for inspection upon request.

Step 9: Place a copy of the completed HIA COVID-19 Safety Plan for small construction sites in Greater Sydney site sign in a prominent location at the site entrance.

Step 10: Place a copy of the completed HIA COVID-19 Safety Plan Site Induction for Greater Sydney site sign in a prominent location at the site entrance.

Step 11: Print and place copies of relevant NSW Health COVID-19 safety posters in visible locations around your site. HIA recommends members print the signs for face masks, hygiene and hand washing and protection and physical distancing.

Step 12: Place hand sanitiser and wash facilities around the site as required by the COVID safety plan.

Manage your site once work starts

Step 13: Ensure all visitors to sites are checking in with both the Service NSW Check in QR code and the HIA COVID-19 Safety Plan Site Induction QR code.

Step 14: Regularly check the site to ensure that all signage is intact and clearly visible.

Step 15: Retain copies of all completed Site Inductions (received by email) as evidence that you can produce if requested to do so.

Step 16: Regularly visit sites to ensure that all workers including deliveries are complying with the requirements of the COVID safety plan when on site.

Step by step guide for renovation sites in Greater Sydney

Renovation work in an occupied home is permitted under the current restrictions for Greater Sydney. The rules that apply are similar in relation to COVID safety measures but there are specific rules about:

  • indoor and outdoor work,
  • the number of workers that are permitted to carry out this type of work
  • where those workers are allowed to come from. 

Details on the limits for working at an occupied home are set out in HIA’s Renovation work at occupied home sites infosheet.

Do you need a COVID-19 Safety Plan for renovation work at an occupied home in Greater Sydney?

No. Renovation sites where the residents are living in the home do not need to complete a NSW Government COVID-19 Safety Plan for Construction Sites or have the ServiceNSW check in QR code. 

However there are still important rules for occupied building sites which you should be familiar with before working on a home renovation project. You can choose to follow the HIA guidance provided below to help you meet your obligations on these sites.

Understand the rules for occupied renovation sites

Step 1: Download and familiarise yourself with HIA COVID-19 Safety Plan for occupied renovation sites in Greater Sydney site sign and share this information with your team.

Prepare your site

Step 2: Print the HIA COVID-19 safety plan for occupied renovation sites in Greater Sydney site sign and place in a visible location at all entrance to the work area or provide a copy electronically to any employee or trade contractor attending the site to do work on your behalf.

Step 3: Print and place on site relevant NSW Health COVID-19 safety posters on face masks, hygiene and hand washing, and physical distancing. 

Step 4: Arrange for hand sanitiser and wash facilities to be exclusively available in the work area of the site separate from the residents.

Manage the site

Step 5: Ensure all workers attending the site read and comply with limits on workers and all other COVID-19 safety measures for occupied renovation sites. 

Step 6: Regularly check that the construction area of the site has all signage is intact and clearly visible.

Step 7: Ensure all deliveries to site are complying with the restrictions on delivery drivers.

To find out more, contact HIA's Workplace Services team

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