SafeWork NSW carries out compliance blitz to combat COVID

Friday, 27 August, 2021

SafeWork NSW carries out compliance blitz to combat COVID

SafeWork NSW officers have visited construction sites across Sydney after sites in Marsden Park, Riverstone and Liverpool were issued with $40,000 in fines for COVID-19 breaches. Minister for Better Regulation, Kevin Anderson, said following the two-week construction pause, sites were only allowed to open if they followed the COVID requirements for occupied and unoccupied sites under the Public Health Order. Anderson emphasised that site operators need to comply with capacity limits to reduce contact, ensure their workers are complying with COVID-19 vaccine requirements and have a safety plan, including a QR code, in place.

SafeWork inspectors visited a range of sites, particularly those in the identified LGAs that can only carry out construction work on unoccupied sites and must have vaccinated workers, to support the implementation of controls that prevent the transmission of COVID-19. “The NSW Government understands and appreciates the important role the construction sector plays to our state and we are doing everything we can to ensure it is able to keep operating while keeping communities safe,” Anderson said.

Anderson acknowledged that while site operators must enforce the rules, tradies should also support their workmates and the industry by signing in with the QR code, wearing face masks at all times and, in the identified LGAs, getting vaccinated and following the orders at work. Previously, fines have been issued at three building sites, including a site in Marsden Park, which received two $5000 fines after it was found that the site operator did not ensure a worker from an identified LGA was vaccinated, and the site failed to have COVID protocols, including QR codes, in place. A site in Riverstone was also fined $10,000 after two workers from Blacktown and Parramatta failed to meet the vaccination and testing requirements. A site in Liverpool received $20,000 in fines for not ensuring workers were vaccinated or tested per Public Health Orders; the site also failed to ensure that workers were wearing masks and scanning the QR code.

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