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COVID-19 restrictions for all construction sites across Victoria

Details of the restrictions from the Victorian Government as they impact residential building sites that apply across all of Victoria.

The Victorian Government has introduced a number of restrictions on residential building sites due to the current COVID-19 lockdown across Victoria. 

The complete details regarding the restrictions are continually being updated. This information sheet provides details based on the current publicly available information as they impact the residential construction industry.

What residential building work is permitted in Victoria?

Building and construction is classified as “authorised work” and therefore residential building work is allowed to continue throughout Victoria despite any stay at home (lockdown) requirements. 

Internal renovation work is not currently permitted at an occupied home. 

Outdoor work at an occupied home is permitted but must meet certain restrictions subject to whether the site is located in metropolitan Melbourne or regional Victoria.

New construction projects can commence as long as the current restrictions are complied with.

Requirements that apply to all construction sites

When is a COVID Safe Plan required?

All construction sites in across Victoria must have a have a COVID Safe Plan. A template COVID Safe Plan is now available. 

The COVIDSafe Plan must be retained and be available for inspection on request. It does not need to be submitted to or endorsed by the Victorian Government.

What are the HIA’s Making space on site COVIDSafe Plan resources?

HIA’s Making space on site resources for Victoria align with the current COVIDSafe plan requirements for construction sites across Victoria. 

Members can access a COVIDSafe Plan for small residential building sites (unoccupied) which outlines the necessary actions a builder or principal contractor is responsible for when managing a residential building site. 

A summary of the requirements in the COVIDSafe Plan is also available to ensure all workers and other people attending a building site are aware of the COVID safety measures that need to be adhered to when on the site. This summary is in the form of a COVIDSafe Plan site sign or poster allowing you to place it on site, next to your Services Victoria QR code. 

Members can also access a tailored HIA Site Induction based on the COVIDSafe Plan for small residential building sites in Victoria. This QR code allows a builder to confirm on a daily basis that workers and other people attending the site meet the various government requirements such as having Authorised Worker permits, meeting vaccination requirements to work on site and not being subject to quarantine requirements. 

It is important to understand that the HIA Site Induction QR code does not override a businesses obligation to collect vaccination status information from all workers in the required form and to keep this information as required before those workers attend a site. The QR code simply provides a secondary confirmation. 

Members must have their own COVIDSafe Plan for every site. Members are able to use the Government’s COVIDSafe Plan template and any other tools you prefer to check workers into the site. 

When do I need a Services Victoria QR Code? 

Every building site in Victoria has been required to display a Service Victoria QR code for several months. The QR code must be used by anyone entering the site, regardless of how long they remain on site. Every site needs its own QR code. Members can register for a QR code online. 

Once you have the QR code poster, you should print and laminate a copy and ensure it is placed in a visible location at the entry to the site. 

What is a COVIDSafe Marshal?

All builders will need to appoint a COVIDSafe Marshal for every building site. The COVID Marshal is responsible for managing compliance and to be a point of contact should there be concern about any of the COVID safety measures on the site. For small scale construction sites the site supervisor is allowed to be the COVID Marshal and can be responsible for multiple sites. 

A COVID Marshal must complete basic infection control awareness training. Accredited training courses are available through Victorian TAFEs and Registered Training Organisations. A short 20 minute course is also available at the Department of Health COVID-19 Infection Control Training. HIA will advise if the training requirements change.

A COVID Marshal is required to monitor compliance with the COVIDSafe Plan applicable to the site. It is therefore important that COVID Marshals have access to and are familiar with the COVIDSafe Plan for each of your sites. 

When onsite, designated COVID Marshals will be responsible for ensuring: 

  • COVIDSafe plans are up to date and reflect reduced operations on site; 
  • anyone who visits the site has provided their vaccination status before entering the site;
  • anyone who visits the site without first providing their vaccination status is required to leave the site; 
  • authorised workers are carrying worker permits, where required, when travelling to and from work; 
  • contact tracing records are maintained where required and through the Victoria Service App;
  • facemasks are worn indoors and outdoors (unless an exception applies);
  • shared spaces are cleaned regularly, including on building sites;
  • worker density limits are maintained on site at all times; 
  • workers do not congregate indoors or in large groups outdoors during breaks; and
  • workers do not eat or drink indoors indoors unless they use facilities that comply with new Health Department requirements.

What is a worker bubble?

Builders must arrange operations at building and construction sites across Victoria so that construction workers are working consistently with the same group of other construction workers where reasonably practicable.

The worker bubble requirements mean the builders must have regard to the following:

  • develop separate shifts to minimise physical interactions between workers attending different shifts;
  • separate construction workers into separate areas;
  • divide work areas up further to separate teams;
  • provide separate break areas and break times for each team;
  • consider separate entrance areas and exists on building sites; and
  • have construction workers from the same house work in the same shift and work area.

Who needs an authorised worker permit? 

Building and construction workers are defined as Authorised providers and authorised workers list you can travel to a construction site however you must have a worker permit with you.

All workers and contractors living in metropolitan Melbourne and any areas of regional Victoria subject to the same restrictions as Melbourne must carry a worker permit at all times to attend construction sites in both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

Workers living in regional Victoria must carry a worker permit if working in Melbourne, or any areas of regional Victoria subject to the same restrictions as Melbourne. 

This permit must be provided to authorities on request.

For more information on the authorised worker permits and to download a permit visit the Government’s Coronavirus website.

Do construction workers need to be vaccinated? 

Yes. Every person entering a construction site is classified as a construction worker and must have at least one vaccination to be allowed to enter a building site. The HIA information sheet - Victorian COVID restrictions - Vaccination requirements provides further details.

Are workers allowed to travel between metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria? 

Yes. But only if they are fully vaccinated (meaning have had two doses of a COVID-19 vaccine). 

The HIA information sheet - Victorian COVID restrictions - Vaccination requirements provides further details.

Further information

While the recent shutdown of construction sites affected metropolitan Melbourne and some regional areas, the rules from 5 October 2021 for construction sites across Victoria are the same for both metropolitan Melbourne and regional Victoria. 

Further information for businesses regarding the current restrictions and how they apply to construction work is available on the Victorian Government’s construction reopening plan and is outlined in the following HIA information sheets:

To find out more, contact HIA's Workplace Services team

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