Two Person Rule Procedure
Throughout the Australian Governments’ response to COVID-19, authorities have taken steps to exempt workplaces from many of the restrictions in order to keep the economy functioning. Keeping the economy going and people working is a critical step in managing our response to this pandemic and a quick economic recovery afterwards.
The requirements of QLD WHS legislation still applies during the COVID-19 pandemic, meaning employers must manage all workplace hazards and risks. Our hazard management has identified several situations where we need more than one person and there are no practical alternatives, such as fitting a fan coil, moving an outdoor unit, installing flex etc. The option is either cancel/reschedule the job which results in workers stood down or use the Covid-19 procedures to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission for staff and others who may be in the area.
COVID-19 procedures include the following and are to be used to ensure a safe workplace for all employees and customers:
- COVID-19 Management Procedure for Staff and Customers
- Customer/Client Checklist Prior to Attending Site
- Reduce the Risk of COVID-19 Procedure
- Disposable Masks Procedure
Other ways to maintain COVID-19 social distancing controls:
- Staggering start/finish and lunch times so staff are not coming together
- Where practical, limiting maximum number of staff in same vehicle to two.
Explain to customers, the COVID-19 controls in place which include how two or more staff can congregate to carry out their tasks safely. Have processes/procedures available both electronically and physically, so they are easily accessible for customers and authorities if needed…
Two person crews are a common work arrangement for many contractors, such as where they have apprentices, especially since in many situations apprentices are not allowed to work alone. Many SWMS for ‘Working on or near live electrical equipment’ (which a defined high risk construction activity) require more than one person present as a control method for safety. If your task risk assessments have identified you need more than one person for the job, your paperwork should reflect that and you should keep a copy of your process available for others to refer to if required.
It’s possible the risk assessment for non-electrical components of tasks, have identified work crews of more than two persons are required to manage them in a safe and timely manner.
If staff have to work close together (within the preferred 4m2 personal exclusion zones), staff are to wear masks to reduce the risk of inhaling someone else’s air, and disposable gloves if handling equipment someone else has.
If working in ceiling spaces or other close confinement areas, consider masks to reduce chances of inhaling airborne contaminants.
Regular sanitising of group used tools and equipment is recommended. Cleaning all tools at the start and end of a job is essential.
- These controls apply to the Workplace environment only
- Your risk assessment needs to identify that tasks require two or more persons for safety
- Have copies of processes readily available
- Have critical PPE available