COVID-19 restrictions for construction sites were introduced in NSW on 11 August 2021 which sets out new requirements for sites and workers. The rules, introduced in respect of the worsening outbreak in Sydney and changing nature of living with the Delta virus strain, require that sites comply with capacity limits, ensure workers meet a set of vaccination requirements; and have a COVID-19 safety plan.

The rules include COVID-19 vaccination and testing requirements for workers who reside in 'local government areas of concern'. In order to comply, these workers must meet one of the following four requirements to attend site:

  1. Had 2 doses of a COVID-19 vaccine; or
  2. Had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine before Wednesday 21 July 2021; or
  3. Had one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine after Wednesday 21 July 2021 and have been tested for COVID-19 in the past 72 hours; or
  4. Evidence of a medical exemption and have been tested for COVID-19 in the past 72 hours.

A mobile app is now helping head contractors’ keep records of worker vaccine certificates for all visitors to their site.

The app, called 1Breadcrumb, was borne out of the first Melbourne lockdown to provide workers with a touchless and automated site check-in experience directly from their mobile phone using geofences.

But now, 1Breadcrumb provides a mobile-first portal in which workers can upload all their safety documentation including proof of vaccination certificates. For head contractors, this completely eliminates the manual process of collecting proof of vaccination every time a worker attends site. 

Serial entrepreneur and founder of 1Breadcrumb, Paul Willson, says he started 1Breadcrumb after seeing inefficient and unsafe practices around checking in to work sites.

“We were still seeing workers all signing in on the same touch screen kiosk. This could allow the virus to transfer to workers via that surface,” Willson says.

“We knew there was a better way so we created 1Breadcrumb to allow workers to sign in and out of sites directly from their mobile phone. We then automated this check-in process allowing workers to set automatic sign-in to sites with geofences set up around sites.”

Willson tested the idea across a range of industries but found construction had the greatest need for the automated check-in system.

“COVID-19 came in and displaced the way companies are required to manage safety on site. But construction didn’t quite adapt in the most efficient way, purely due to the sheer quantity of workers on site and lack of existing solutions,” explains Willson.

With such a great response from head contractors, the app evolved to further ease the burden on sourcing safety and compliance documentation from site workers by introducing digital inductions and SWMS (safe work method statements).

“What 1Breadcrumb does is empower the workers themselves to communicate upwards to the head contractor. This gives them the power to keep their SWMS, licences, induction completions and other safety documentation on file for use every time they enter site.”

With the Delta strain now continuing to change how all of us manage life and work, contractors are facing the brunt of adapting to a moving target in order to keep sites operational. New tools that help reduce the load of managing safety and compliance on site is welcome news for contractors.

The app can also help contractors navigate other restrictions such as setting capacity limits for work sites and setting mandatory questions that each worker must answer when they check-in each day.

From there, the contractor can maintain a real-time view of who is on site, who has and hasn’t completed their inductions or submitted their SWMS and other required documentation.

The app is already being used by over 100 contractors including McCormack Property, Leone Constructions, Henny and Building Engineering.