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Preparing an ACT COVIDSafe plan for small residential building sites

HIA has developed a series of resources to assist members required to complete a COVIDSafe plan for a small residential building site in the ACT.

The requirements for preparing a COVIDSafe Plan are the same for large sites and small sites in the ACT. The same requirements also apply to any occupied home renovation work. 

This information sheet sets out a step by step approach for builders or principal contractors responsible for managing a building site to prepare an ACT COVIDSafe Plan. 

Step by step guide to preparing an ACT COVIDSafe Plan

Small residential building sites in the ACT are permitted to restart work from Friday 10 September 2021.

The COVID-19 requirements for all building and construction work in the ACT are set out in the ACT Building and Construction Industry COVID-19 Requirements (as at 8 September 2021).

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 ACT Government requirements are met.

Before you open a building site

Step 1: Prepare a COVID Safe Plan for each site.

The builder or principal contractor must prepare a COVIDSafe Plan for each building site. 

To assist members in understanding these requirements, HIA’s Guide to preparing an ACT COVIDSafe Plan for small residential building sites can assist members wanting to prepare their own COVIDSafe Plan. 

HIA has also prepared the HIA Making space on site: ACT COVIDSafe Plan for small residential building sites. This Plan addresses the Government’s requirements. The site address and the nominated COVID marshal must be included for each site.

Members using the HIA COVIDSafe Plan should also download a copy of the HIA information sheet “Responding to a positive case of COVID-19 in your business” which addresses the requirement for you to have an action plan should a person attending you site advise you they have COVID-19.

It is not compulsory to use the HIA Guide or HIA COVIDSafe Plan. Members can choose to complete your own responses to the Government requirements with any information you consider appropriate and make this your COVIDSafe Plan. 

Step 2: Print and keep a business copy of your completed COVIDSafe Plan for each site, including your action plan for when a positive case of COVID-19 may arise. 

A Builder or Principal Contractor is responsible for ensuring a compliant COVIDSafe Plan is in place for every site before work starts. You must have a copy of your COVID-19 Safety Plan readily available. 

Step 3: Provide a copy of the completed COVIDSafe Plan to relevant staff and trade contractors that will be working at the site. 

Step 4: Print, fill in and laminate a copy of the HIA COVIDSafe Plan for small occupied residential building sites site sign (poster) or HIA COVIDSafe Plan for small unoccupied residential building sites site sign (poster) that is appropriate for the type of work occurring. 

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: Register and download a copy of the HIA COVIDSafe Site Induction for ACT site sign and add the following details to the sign:

  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 and laminate the completed HIA COVIDSafe Site Induction for ACT site sign in the size you prefer (A4 or A3).

Step 7: Request a Check-in CBR QR code for the site all unoccupied small residential building sites, print a copy and laminate in the size you prefer (A4 or A3). 

Step 8: Print and laminate copies of relevant ACT Government Easy read resources, or other similar Government Health providers COVID-19 safety posters such as Australian Government COVID-19 Safe resources and NSW Health COVID-19 safety posters. HIA recommends members print signs for face masks, hygiene and hand washing and protection and physical distancing. 

Prepare your site to restart 

Step 9: Place a copy of the each required site sign in a prominent location at the entry to the site.

  • Check-in CBR QR code for the site 
  • the completed HIA COVIDSafe Plan for small residential building sites in the ACT site sign 
  • the completed HIA COVIDSafe Site Induction for the ACT site sign 

Step 10: Print and place copies of relevant health and hygiene posters (Step 8) 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 11: Ensure a copy of your COVIDSafe Plan and your action plan for a positive case on site is available on request. 

The Builder needs to have ensure a copy of the COVIDSafe plan for the site can be presented on request by an authorised inspector. This may a hard copy or an electronic copy of the plan. 

Step 12: Place hand sanitiser or hand washing facilities on the site, along with any other cleaning products that may be required during working hours.

Manage your site once work starts

Step 13: Ensure all visitors to sites are checking in with both the Check-in CBR QR code and the HIA COVIDSafe Plan Site Induction for the ACT 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 delivery drivers are complying with the requirements of the COVIDSafe Plan when on site.

An important reminder – It is not compulsory to use the HIA Making space on site resources – but it is compulsory for all building sites in the ACT to have:

  • a COVIDSafe Plan, 
  • the Check-in CBR QR code for the site (excluding renovation sites), and 
  • some way of recording the attendance of every person working on the site every day. 

Other steps to take before a site opens

There are several other steps the builder or principal contractor needs to take before being ready to open a building site in the ACT. 

Appoint a COVID Marshal for your site

All building sites will need to appoint a COVID Marshal to manage compliance and to be a point of contact should there be concern about any of the COVID safety measures on the site or about anyone associated with the site testing positive for COVID-19. The COVID Marshal should be the person that is the first point of contact for managing the site including all aspects of safety. Generally this will be the site supervisor.

COVID Marshals are required to undertake infection control training in relation to COVID-19 prior to reopening. The Australian Government offers an online COVID-19 infection control training course that meets these requirements. Anyone intending to be a COVID Marshal for your business should complete this course as soon as possible.

Download and complete ACT Construction Industry Worker Permit 

All workers and contractors in the building and construction industry must carry a valid ACT Construction Industry Worker Permit at all times. This permit must be provided to authorities on request. 

The permit form is available to download under the ‘Construction Sector - information for industry’ section of the ACT government COVID-19 website.

All employees should have a permit signed by their employer. All self-employed trade contractors or specialist professional service providers can complete their own permit and must carry it all times. 

Ensure you have sufficient supplies of necessary safety equipment

The builder or principal contractor needs to ensure there is a supply of face masks, hand sanitiser and any other safety and cleaning equipment that may be needed during building work. While many safety measures and equipment will be supplied by each individual such as a face mask, there should be a ready supply of spare masks and any other equipment in case of emergencies.

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

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