29 Sep CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY SHUT DOWN FOR TWO WEEKS AND OTHER RESTRICTIONS IN VICTORIA
The construction industry in Victoria has been shut for one week now, with another week of shut down to go.
Unless you have been living under a rock, then you should be aware that the Victorian Government recently announced the shutdown of construction sites in metropolitan Melbourne and other local government areas for two weeks, effective from 11:59pm on Monday, 20 September 2021 until 11:59pm on Monday, 4 October 2021.
All construction projects in metropolitan Melbourne, the City of Ballarat, the City of Greater Geelong, the Surf Coast Shire and the Mitchell Shire will be closed unless it is a critical and essential infrastructure site.
The only reason for anyone to attend a construction site that is not exempted will be to respond to an emergency or perform urgent and essential work to protect health and safety.
Workforce limits and movement restrictions in regional Victoria
Construction workers are no longer able to cross the border between regional Victoria and metropolitan Melbourne and the City of Ballarat unless an exception applies.
In regional Victoria, current workplace limitations also applies as follows:
- For large construction sites, a daily maximum of workers equating to 25 per cent of their baseline workforce, and/or five workers.
- For small-scale construction sites, a limitation of five workers at any one time (excluding the site supervisor), unless an exception applies.
Requirements for Construction Employers Moving Forward
Construction employers will need to comply with the updated Workplace Directions (No.45) by ensuring that the following requirements are met:
Onsite COVID-19 Marshals appointed
An employee needs to be designated as the COVID Check-in Marshall who has completed training in accordance with the Department of Health Guidelines.
The COVID-19 Marshal’s responsibilities will include ensuring that compliance with the Workplace Directions is monitored and that all employees are meeting their check-in duties, including QR code scans or providing alternative record keeping methods.
Worker “shift bubbles’’ and movement restrictions
Employers need to make arrangements so that construction workers are working consistently with the same group of other workers wherever reasonably practicable.
Employers can do this by considering the construction sites and how workers could be arranged into “bubble groups”, developing separate shifts, and separating construction workers into different work areas.
Tea Rooms closed
Workers are not permitted to consume food or drinks on a construction site including in a crib room, lunch room or tea room except for water or if required due to medical reasons.