Construction industry leading the way with innovative COVID-19 solutions

Market Insights
3 years ago
1 minutes

Acciona's infrastructure boss Bede Noonan has implemented an innovative approach to workplace safety for 400 construction workers – across the Victorian government’s level crossing projects. 

Every morning, workers place their face masks into QR coded, air-tight bags, and receive an automated SMS within 6 hours, telling them whether they have COVID, or are COVID free.  

The initiative demonstrates a proactive mentality from industry leaders. Instead of waiting for a vaccine, savvy thinkers across the city are developing innovative ways for Australians to safely work, travel and remain productive.

“It’s an intriguing approach that illustrates the type of novel approaches to scalable community testing that might be used as a community opens up,’’ Doherty Institute co-deputy director Mike Catton told The Age and The Sydney Morning Herald.

“It's too early to comment on this particular approach but these are questions that are attracting a lot of attention in the scientific and medical community at the moment."

The masks are collected and transported by health and environmental risk management company, Prensa. Prensa chief executive Cameron Hunter said one of the biggest limitations of PCR screening – the need to do testing offsite – could soon be removed if rapid antigen tests are approved by the TGA.

These tests allow on-the-spot analysis of saliva samples inside 15 minutes, opening up the possibility of screening travellers in airports before they board a plane or healthcare workers before they start a shift.

“Until we get a vaccine it is not logical to think we are going to sit at single figure infections on a daily basis,’’ Mr Hunter said. “What we have showed with this program is that broad screening has a role in learning to live with the virus.’’

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