COVID-19 – Stage 4 Construction Update

The Government has now provided a Stage 4 Construction Guidance

From 11:59 pm on Friday 7 August the following changes will need to be adopted by all Melbourne metropolitan construction sites.

A brief summary of some of the clarifications

All sites must have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan and must follow density restrictions of no more than 1 worker per 4 square metres in enclosed spaces.

Small-scale construction sites:

  • Number of people on-site to 5 people plus supervisor – this has been clarified further, see below;
  • Limit movement of workers between different sites where possible – this has been clarified further, see below;
  • Supervisors can move between sites;
  • Specialist contracts can move between up to three sites per week – this has now been clarified further see below.

Large scale construction

  • Defined as more than 3 storeys high, excluding basements; larger than 1,500m2 floor size; office or retail fit-out; or industrial, large format or retail use;
  • Must not exceed the greater of 25% of baseline site workforce or 5 workers;
  • The baseline workforce is the average daily number of workers on site across the project lifecyle as at 31 July 2020 and subject to audit;
  • Limit movement of workers between sites and specialist contractors not to visit more than three sites per week – clarification now provided, see  further details below.

Early stage residential land development

  • Defined as all civil works on large greenfield sites to prepare for construction of multiple individual residential dwellings. Once subdivision occurs, the construction on that site is regarded as ‘small scale construction project’ or if there is a single entity responsible for construction (eg, retirement village) it will be considered a ‘large scale construction:
    • No more than 10 workers per hectre; and
    • Limit movement of workers between different sites where possible.

“Worker”

  • Worker” is broadly defined to include people working on site including owners, managers, employees, contractors, workers on labour hire and security (but excludes workers dedicated to oversee COVID safe functions and also suppliers and deliveries who are only onsite for short periods);
  • Specialist contractors” has been defined and a list is provided in the attached Guidelines and includes as an example electricians, plumbers, floors layers, concreters, truck drivers, precast installers, scaffolders, carpenters, plasters, solar installers – see attached for a full list);
  • Workers such as architecture, engineering, surveying, building inspection or compliance services or statutory functions must work from home where possible (where they are onsite, they count as “workers” in the daily limit and if they need to move between sites, should visit no more than 3 times a week except where those visits are required to meet minimum statutory obligations;
  • Specialist contractors who install critical OHS equipment (such as scaffolding, safety rails, guardrails, stair void protection systems) and those who conduct safety inspections and training talks are not limited to three sites per week.

Audits

  • Details of the information required to be declared in their COVIDSafe Plan is also detailed in the attached Guidelines for specified worksite operators (and operators must retail all copies of Plans and supporting evidence for audits);

Government is also introducing a specified worksite reporting regime supported by independent compliance reviews and site inspections (further information will be provided about this in the coming days.

In addition to the attached Guidelines, the MBAV has also confirmed that:

  • If there are occupied residences in the home under the stay-at-home orders, then builders or workers cannot be onsite (except for emergency repairs or for safety purposes). This means that renovations of occupied premises are not permitted under Stage 4 Restrictions.   Further clarification may be provided in the coming days
  • Owners may attend a contract signing appointment and a final inspection but they are not permitted to visit a display home
  • The rules prohibiting carpooling to and from a construction site, do not apply to apprentices are who unable to drive themselves.

Chat to us to learn more.

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