News & Views

1st October 2021

Detailed COVID-safe guide for restarting

The following guide has been provided by Industry Coordination and Recovery.at the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions.

The Victorian Government has announced a plan for the COVIDSafe restart of the construction industry on Tuesday 5 October 2021.

The plan provides a framework for the removal of workforce caps, while also ensuring the safety of workers, their families and our community.

The Victorian Government’s dedicated Industry Engagement and Enforcement Operation will continue to enforce workplace directions, targeting areas of high non-compliance or health risk. Construction businesses can expect a visit at any time from Authorised Officers, who can issue fines and enforce closures.

Prior to Tuesday 5 October
  • Before the site reopens, the site operator must complete a COVIDSafe construction declaration form available on the Service Victoria platform from Saturday 2 October. This will make it easier for construction workplaces to follow the Chief Health Officer directions and keep worksites safe. Workers can enter a site to improve crib facilities, receive deliveries and for site re-induction.

  • Your COVIDSafe Plan should be reviewed and updated regularly and discussed with your workers.From Tuesday 5 October

 

All Construction Sites
  • All workers must have received their first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

  • Fully vaccinated means having both vaccinations, or one vaccination and a booking by Saturday 13 November.

  • State Critical infrastructure Projects can return to 100 per cent of their workforce if crib rooms have best practice approaches including ventilation and density limits

  • Crib rooms may be used, provided they meet the best practise guidelines.

  • Crib room best practice standard includes following the ‘COVID-19 Mandatory minimum requirements and best practice approaches for safe worker amenities on construction sites’ including density quotient 1 per person per 4sqm; and additional ventilation so that entire air volume of the room replaced or filtered every 10 to 12 minutes.

  • Workers moving between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria must be fully vaccinated, unless they are working on large scale sites or state-critical infrastructure.

  • Operators must have worker shift bubbles where practical.

 

Small Construction Sites
  • Small scale sites are capped at five people per site, plus a supervisor

  • COVID Marshals on small scale construction sites may be a site supervisor

 

Large Scale Construction Sites and State Critical Infrastructure Projects
  • Large scale sites are capped at:

    • 25 per cent of the workforce, or
    • 50 per cent, if crib rooms follows best practice standards and all workers are fully vaccinated.
  • Workers on large scale sites or state-critical infrastructure projects are permitted to travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria to work on construction sites if they have received at least one vaccination dose. However, single vaccinated workers must be tested before crossing the boundary and they must get tested twice a week, with at least 72 hours between each test, until they receive their second dose.

 

Early Development Sites
  • Early development sites increase from 10 to 20 workers per hectare, subject to the controls specified above for all sites

 

From 70 per cent double dose (estimated 26 October)
  • Large scale sites can go to 100 per cent, if and all workers on the site are fully vaccinated.

  • Worker caps will progressively increase as the rate of vaccination increases in the broader Victorian community.

  • Recommended that building fit-outs re-commence.

 

From 80 per cent double dose (estimated 5 November)
  • Remaining workforce restrictions will be removed,  other than pre-existing requirements such as COVIDSafe Plans, provided all workers on the construction site are fully vaccinated.

 

Best practice ventilation of crib rooms
  • Wherever possible, workers should have their meals or other breaks outside, while maintaining physical distancing.

  • Apply density limits.

  • Adequate air movement is necessary and can be achieved through natural ventilation.  

  • Open doors and windows allowing fresh air from outside. If this is not possible use exhaust fans to increase air flow.  

  • Where mechanical ventilation is used, some adjustment in the Heating Ventilation Air Conditioning (HVAC) management plan may be necessary.

  • Air should be refreshed five or six times an hour in a designated tea or meal room; that is, the entire air volume should be replaced or filtered every 10 to 12 minutes.

  • If this is not possible, fans should direct air to an open space, based on advice from engineering services or an occupational hygienist.  

 

Compliance
  • Authorised Officers will increase over the next six weeks to support compliance and enforcement efforts.

  • Sites will be shut down if they are non-compliant and penalties will increase.