Managing Covid on Construction Sites

RCC formed a Covid Response Team in March 2020, made up of a diverse group of people from across the business whose sole job was to support our people and our projects through an extremely challenging time. Like the rest of the industry, we were met with a unique problem that hadn’t been dealt with previously, so it was an opportunity to create new ways of working and collaborating in order to keep the business, our people and projects safe.

Now, 18 months on, our Response Team and the wider business has pivoted from a focus on processes and response plans to managing the safety of our people and Covid cases on site. In 2021 the Delta strain and evolving Government advice has driven our businesses agile approach. Despite the ever-changing Covid landscape, our approach remains centred on the crucial balance between maintaining the safety of our staff and community, whilst ensuring appropriate measures are taken to remobilise the site as quickly as possible in line with NSW, ACT or QLD Health requirements.

Early on we decided that proactively leading an RCC process which was authorised by Health was the best way to manage positive cases and ensure our sites weren’t impacted by the backlog caused by the upward trending numbers in NSW.


The Key to Success

RCC's Key to Success


With more than 50 live projects and thousands of workers on our sites each day, managing the safety and continuity of our delivery is important. Over the last couple of months RCC’s Covid Response Team have managed over 25 instances of positive cases attending an RCC site.

In line with strict internal protocols and State Health guidelines, our team’s rapid response to contact tracing, notifications, cleaning and testing protocols has ensured safe and efficient remobilisation of site. This consistent outcome is testament to the stringent measures in place and the commitment of our staff who have all assumed the role of Covid Marshal to ensure ongoing compliance.

Our process, supported by NSW Health, has allowed us to safely remobilise sites, generally within 24 hours, which is important for our workforce, industry and economy during difficult times.

RCC’s process involves input from various parties with detailed analysis of the workers movements applied to a risk assessment model developed in conjunction with the various State Health bodies. Key to this system is our Covid Response Team remaining impartial, aligning our approach with government advice when identifying Close and Casual Contacts.



We appreciate the support of the NSW Health as well as all our trade partners and clients who are collaboratively working with us to ensure an efficient and measured response in every case.

“Much planning goes into any risks our projects face, including for the possibility that one of our workers comes to site COVID positive without knowing. When it occurred on the Walsh Bay project, the RCC site team worked with the COVID Response Team to manage the situation.

Planning paid off as the subcontractors, the client and all involved were kept up to date with what had occurred, how it was being managed and what the next steps were. Cleaners were on site quickly, close and casual contacts traced and testing for the workforce organised. It is a credit to the careful planning and execution of RCC’s COVID Response Plan that construction was underway again the following day.”


Rene Burkart – Project Director, Infrastructure NSW


RCC Positive Case Process


Current Trend

Over the last week or so we are seeing a shift in case numbers and locations, as the vaccination coverage increases, and we pass the 21-day mark after the 1st dose for most employees. This is an encouraging sign as we continue to communicate vaccination as the path out of site shutdowns, loss of work and productivity in the future.

A number of initiatives including webinars with medical professionals discussing the benefits of vaccination on individual and community outcomes, regular communication with staff and major prize draws are making a difference in encouraging RCC employees and our project partners to do their part to increase vaccination rates.


What Next?

With the state roadmaps to eased restrictions being rolled out, we are considering long-term strategies which will allow us to continue providing our workforce with a safe working environment, relevant communication and security.

RCC is working with Government bodies on pilot initiatives to identify ways our industry can consistently manage the impact of Covid on construction sites and communities. As construction returns to 100% capacity in NSW, we remain vigilant and prepared to provide our clients and industry partners with confidence that we will remain responsive and flexible to take on what is next, together.

Keep an eye on our socials to learn more about how we will be protecting our people, our industry and our community moving forward.



The People Behind The WHR Project

Our Wyong Hospital Redevelopment Team Is Targeting More Than Built Outcomes.

Successful projects are as much about the positive community impacts of delivery, as they are about the completion of fit for purpose facilities. Partnering with the Central Coast community and industry organisations allows us to create local supplier, training and employment opportunities, and ultimately generate social and economic outcomes which extend far beyond building completion.

With the Wyong Hospital Redevelopment building structure now complete, we are looking forward to being able to handover this important facility for the community, and reflecting on the contribution of the hundreds of people behind the project.



When it reaches completion, the new Clinical Services Building will provide the local Central Coast community with a new Emergency Department, additional operating theatres, and ICU/HDU capacity, mental health expansion, additional inpatient beds for medical and acute services, clinical and non-clinical support services and parking.

For more information about the Wyong & Gosford Hospitals Redevelopment visit the NSW Governments Project Website.

The project is due for completion in 2021.



Tamara Jonson

Meet Tamara Jonson

RCC’s Group Head of Workplace Health and Safety

Tamara brings 20 + years’ experience working in high risk industries including mining, tunnelling, civil infrastructure, rail and construction to the role. We are proud to welcome Tamara, who shares our belief that positive safety outcomes are as important as productivity and quality in delivering successful projects and advancing our industry.

Educating and empowering every member of our extended team to take care of one another and go home safe to their loved ones each day forms the foundation of our safety culture.

Tamara says she chose a career in safety after seeing, at a young age, the profound and long-term impact workplace accidents can have on people’s lives and the important difference a proactive, accountable and positive safety culture can have;

“As a child I spent my holidays and weekends travelling with my dad to mines and construction sites, where he was running a cultural change program. At the age of about 10, I sat in a session with him one day and saw these miners sitting in a crib shed crying about a workmate and friend they had lost in a workplace fatality. It really impacted me, and I made a commitment to myself that this was something I wanted to work to prevent happening in the future.”

She says that connecting with people at project level, providing coaching and support to improve communication, planning and leadership, while also having an opportunity to serve them by uniting everyone to provide a safe and supportive work environment, is why she loves what she does.

“I have worked for various contractors and always found myself drawn to working for a business whose core values were based on genuine care for people; I have found that at Richard Crookes Constructions. This business allows you to be part of a family business, where you can make genuine change, with the opportunity and diversity that comes from a large contractor. From the minute I met the team I knew they genuinely care about their people as a family.

For me, a positive safety culture exists when we set high standards and expectations, communicate those standards at every level and then hold each other accountable for maintaining them.

Ultimately, it’s about ensuring that every RCC site is a safe, welcoming and productive environment. Maintaining a best-practice safety culture in line with industry advancements in technology, social responsibility, innovation and sustainability is key to achieving best-for-project results for all stakeholders.”

As a family business, our values and RCC’s legacy is important to every member of our team. As a proud Australian business, we also have a sense of responsibility to our staff, clients, project and community partners. The foundations of our business and the passion of our people is centred on delivering projects we are proud of and leaving the next generation of construction professionals with a safer, more inclusive, innovative and sustainable industry.