Tradesmen will work on weekends and during public holidays to comply with social distancing measures on sites.New South Wales Planning Minister Rob St
Tradesmen will work on weekends and during public holidays to comply with social distancing measures on sites.
New South Wales Planning Minister Rob Stokes has allowed businesses to space out their staff and working hours to keep the construction industry going during the coronavirus pandemic.
The construction industry employs 400,000 people in NSW and makes up nearly 10 per cent of the state economy, with increased hours enabling more work to be done and the opportunity for more staff to be hired.
Mr Stokes said the changes work in conjunction with medical advice and will keep tradesmen in jobs through uncertain times.
Tradesmen are now allowed to work over weekends and public holidays to allow for social distancing while remaining productive on site. Pictured: Tradesmen obey social distancing standards during a meeting in Sydney last week
Increased hours will enable more work to be done and the opportunity for more staff to be hired during the pandemic
‘The extended hours allow the industry to facilitate social distancing on construction sites, while minimising the potential for lost productivity during the pandemic,’ he told The Daily Telegraph.
‘We are committed to doing everyone we can to keep each and every one of them in work – but most importantly to keep them safe and healthy.’
Mr Stokes has been able to override regular planning measures during the pandemic and has allowed for supermarkets and pharmacies to trade 24/7.
Mikeilee Constructions carpentry apprentice Shea Davies said he was grateful to still be working during the pandemic.
‘Personally I enjoy working, it gets me out of the house. If there’s an opportunity to work seven days a week, I’m keen for it,’ he said.
Tradesmen are still subject to strict rules that limit public gatherings to two people while working onsite.
Tradesmen keep their distance from each other at work onsite in Barangaroo last week
NSW Police Commissioner Mick Fuller issued a warning to tradesmen on Tuesday as heavy penalties came into effect to stop the spread of coronavirus.
Breaching the restrictions in NSW can carry $11,000 fines or six months in jail for leaving home without a ‘reasonable excuse’, or a $1,000 on-the-spot police fine for breaking social distancing rules under the Public Health Act.
Commissioner Fuller said tradesman on work sites should remember to stand apart during safety briefings and smoking breaks.
‘The advice for people on worksites is this. When you arrive at work on the morning don’t congregate in big groups,’ he said on 2GB radio.
‘When you have your safety briefing, don’t stand together.’
He went on to say that he’d been sent pictures of groups congregating during smoking breaks and that wouldn’t be allowed from now on.