Yet another update on the Stage 4 restrictions plus more clarifications

(Updated: August 11,2020)

After the spike in positive cases in Victoria, as mentioned last week, the state has now been declared state of disaster – and with that came new restrictions to observe. There was quite a bit of confusion last week about the new strict rules.

The much need discussions with Master Builders Victoria, industry groups, and the government held on the 7th of August, provided more clarifications especially on the restrictions that came into effect that day at 11:59pm.

Surprisingly, the new rules were less restrictive than most of us initially thought.

Here are some of the new clarifications about the new rules.

One of the requirements is for ALL SITES

  • To have a high-risk COVIDSafe Plan in place and should be updated regularly;

  • For enclosed, workplaces, no more than one worker is allowed per four square meters. Density instructions must be followed at all times.

Large scale construction sites will be limited to the greater of 25% of their baseline workers or 5 workers.

Small scale construction sites or those that do not meet the requirements of a large scale construction site. Refer to this blog.

One thing to understand is that restrictions on construction in regional Victoria are not the same as in Melbourne. Also, if you are still confused as to the definition of a worker, the guidelines specifically state, “people working on-site including, but not limited to, owners, managers, employees, contractors, workers on labour hire and security.”

Workers do not include those who are overseeing the COVID safe functions, as well as the implementation of it; suppliers and deliveries, and those only present on site for a short period of time.

Architects, engineers, surveyors, inspectors, and providers of compliance services are advised to work from home.

These and other restrictions will be carried out by authorized officers by performing site inspections for workplaces, which are subject to reduced operation requirements. This is necessary to make sure that employers and workers are complying with these rules and are complete with the High-Risk COVIDSafe Plan.

As for how the compliance will be monitored, independent agents will be selected by the Victorian Government and will be tasked to do an independent compliance review. The review will take place during and after the Stage 4 restriction period. The selection of site operators will be at random.

Another question that has been asked many times since last week is if renovations can continue if work on them has already begun. MBVA says that all residential and commercial services that began work before the 3rd of August at 5pm and are scheduled to be carried out by the 17th of August before 5pm that is “essential to the wellbeing and livelihood of occupants will be permitted.” For both kitchen and bathroom scenarios, the minimum required to ensure basic functions and safety.

As usual, all are subject to High-Risk COVIDSafe Plan. Check out template here.

For the complete guidelines, check out this link.

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