Mandatory face masks for all in Victoria — including trades


Friday, 16 October, 2020


Mandatory face masks for all in Victoria — including trades

Energy Safe Victoria (ESV) is reminding tradespeople across the state that all people over the age of 12 throughout Victoria are now (from 11 October onward) required to wear a fitted mask when leaving home, including while working. Previously allowed face shields, scarves, bandanas etc, are no longer considered sufficient, particularly in the face of loosening restrictions on movement.

While there are some lawful reasons not to wear a fitted face mask, you will be expected to carry your face mask at all times to wear when you can. ESV recommends all gasfitters and tradespeople read and follow the advice on wearing a fitted face mask.

As an essential service, electrical workers and gasfitters are permitted to carry out work, both domestically and commercially, and ESV advises that tradespeople continue to take the following precautions.

Allow extra time if you have to cross into regional Victoria and make sure you carry identification and have the correct permits, as checkpoints may be in place.

Protect yourself and others

If you are feeling unwell or displaying symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19), a cold or flu, do not attend sites — seek medical advice.

For advice on coronavirus visit www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the hotline on 1800 675 398.

When attending a property

Use clear communication to explain to your customer what steps you are taking to ensure the health and safety of the household and yourself.

Before attending the premises, ask your customer if anyone in their household:

  • has tested positive for coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • is feeling unwell or has any cold or flu-like symptoms
  • has been in contact with someone diagnosed with the virus
  • has travelled from overseas recently and is under quarantine orders
  • and/or anyone in the home is self-isolating.
     

Before entering the premises check the front door for a public health notice. A public health notice is intended to alert people entering a premises of any health risks.

Prevent the spread

  • Wear a fitted face mask: fitted face masks are mandatory for all Victorians when leaving home. Read the Victorian Government advice on face masks.
  • Keep your distance: follow physical distancing directions — keep at least 1.5 metres away from your customer and when inside ensure there is 4 square metres per person. If necessary, ask your customer to move out of the room to allow you to carry out the work.
  • Avoid touching surfaces such as benches and door handles with your bare hands.
  • Carry with you and use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser with 60–80% alcohol content.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and running water for at least 20 seconds. Dry with paper towel or a hand dryer.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze, or cough and sneeze into your upper sleeve or elbow.
  • Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth.
  • Use cashless payment where possible.
  • Limit your interactions with people as much as possible.
     

More information is available here.

In circumstances where a client has tested positive, is feeling unwell or has been in contact with someone diagnosed with the virus, only enter a premises in an emergency or for urgent repairs. Additional precautions should be taken, see below. Consider if the work can be deferred to a later date.

Additional precautions

  1. Advise your customer that due to current public health directions, you must take additional safety precautions.
  2. Wear PPE: when attending the property or entering the premises, all workers should consider wearing a disposable face mask, full coveralls and gloves.
  3. Maintain a minimum of 1.5 m between yourself and the customer at all times, and follow all other measures listed above to slow the spread of the virus.
  4. If works are inside the premises, advise your customer to wait in another room of the house with the door closed while the work is completed.
  5. If works are outside the premises, advise they must wait inside while the work is completed.
  6. Only if necessary should the customer show you or your worker the location of the works required.
  7. Complete the work as quickly as possible, ensuring any gas installation is left safe.
  8. If you must speak to the customer during the job for additional information or clarification, do so as briefly as possible.
  9. Advise the customer when the work is complete and leave the property immediately. The customer is not required to sign an Inspection and Test Plan.
  10. Place the mask, coveralls and gloves in a garbage bag (supplied by yourself) and securely tie the bag. Immediately wash or sanitise your hands.
  11. Dispose of the garbage bag as rubbish (not in the customer’s rubbish bin).

Image credit: ©stock.adobe.com/au/cherryandbees

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