Keeping workers safe, allowing work to continue: COVID-19 testing to begin on construction sites

Posted on May 05, 2020

Construction workers will get dedicated mobile testing facilities under a new initiative by Incolink, supported by the State Government, to tackle COVID-19.

Incolink CEO Erik Locke said the State Government had approved the Incolink Health Bus to test workers for COVID-19 on construction sites, starting this week.

The initiative is being launched at West Side Place, being built by ProBuild. Incolink’s health bus was joined by a range of industry partners helping to fund and support this initiative.

“Incolink is delighted to deliver this initiative funded and backed by our industry and the State Government. The health and safety of workers is paramount. This initiative will help construction continue to operate and ensure we can be at the forefront of the recovery of the economy,” Mr Erik Locke, said.

“The involvement of the State Government and our industry partners has allowed us to commence this initiative quickly, allowing all those on-site workers and contractors on and off the tools access to testing. Widespread testing will give workers and the community confidence in the safety of our industry,” Mr Locke said.

Testing will commence tomorrow (Wednesday 29 April) and will be undertaken in partnership with Incolink's existing bus partner the Australian Prostate Centre (APC). Their team of GPs and nurses will supervise and conduct the nasal and mouth swabs approved by the State Government.

Workers will receive a result within 48 hours. Any worker showing symptoms of COVID-19 is already encouraged not to attend work. If they arrive at testing with symptoms, they will be immediately seen to determine whether they should be sent home or to a medical clinic. Any positive test by the worker will be notified to Government and the worker will be required to self-isolate for a period of 14 days. The impact on other workers from a positive test will be determined by reference to existing industry guidelines on managing social distancing and COVID-19 and which have been approved by the State Government.

Any Incolink member who is unable to work due to COVID-19 will be eligible for the Incolink COVID-19 payment.

CBUS CEO David Atkin said “As a pivotal workforce in the Australian economy, this testing regime is an important initiative to keep workers informed about their health and safety and enables prompt action if necessary. “Workers are persevering despite the challenges of Covid-19 and it is important we look out for one another as our members will be at the frontline of the recovery.”

CoINVEST CEO John Hartley said “We’re also pleased to be investing in this initiative. We all have a stake in the health and safety of construction workers,”

The Master Builders Association of Victoria, CFMEU Vic/ Tas Master Plumbers and PPTEU are strong partners of Incolink and of this initiative. They are encouraging their members to actively participate and facilitate testing on site in a way that promotes compliance, safety and efficiency.

ETU State Secretary Troy Gray has confirmed “our union is a proud supporter of this initiative and we’ll be encouraging our members to participate.”

APC CEO Mark Harrison said “The Australian Prostate Centre (APC) is proud to continue its working relationship with Incolink as part of a unified commitment to support the health and safety of workers in the construction industry.”

Builders and workers can register to have the Incolink Bus visit their workplace at http://incolink.org.au/covid19-testing/

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