After Sunday’s announcement from the Victorian Government allowing outdoor renovations work on occupied premises to recommence, we thought it important to clarify as much as we can for those going back to work.

  • The first important point is that workers in the construction industry ensure the directions below are adhered to, particularly in relation to stopping residents entering the worksite.
  • Absolute compliance with the directions will not only ensure safety of our workers and residents but is also vital for the inevitable enforcement inspections that will Now that we have had this restriction eased, the last thing we want to do is give reason for them to be reinstated.
  • The Government via the Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions has provided further information this morning giving a clear scope on what is permitted. This outlines below:

The new directions and Permitted Work Premises were only loaded overnight, with these being the relevant parts:

The following services which must operate solely outdoors with up to 5 people (with an additional supervisor) where physical distancing can be maintained at all times, for businesses with an ABN:

  • Outdoor maintenance, repairs and other building work, including at occupied premises
  • Home renovations and installations (outdoor only)
  • Home solar panel installations (only for outdoor work or in roof cavities with external access)     

You can find the full document here

As you will know, any construction businesses operating in Victoria is required to have a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan in place. For the purposes of significant construction works at residential properties (i.e. renovations or other works that occurs over multiple days) a High Risk COVIDSafe Plan is required. For short term works (i.e. one day or less), a standard COVIDSafe Plan is required.

The obligations for works at occupied premises will be familiar to you. These include:

  • The works must be outdoor only
  • Businesses must have a valid ABN
  • Maximum of 5 workers and a supervisor in any one location
  • Workforce bubbles should be maintained (e.g. a solar panel installation team should stay together between houses)
  • Maximum of 5 sites per week for specialist contractors
  • Workers must not enter the occupied residence
  • Physical distancing must be maintained at all times unless for safety reasons
  • Contactless/online payment/paperwork wherever possible
  • Masks must be worn at all times, unless for a specified exemption
  • It is not mandatory, but recommended that each work crew have a person nominated to check compliance with the COVIDSafe Plan and COVIDSafe practices
  • All other normal obligations must be maintained (e.g. record keeping, reporting, not attending work sick etc)
  • Workers must not share the amenities of the occupants.
  • The occupants of the home are to be isolated from the workers on site.
  • If the homeowner is seeking to conduct an inspection of the site this should be conducted remotely where possible. If the homeowner must attend the site to complete a final inspection, this should be done alone.

In terms of guidance materials, the existing Small Scale construction guidance should be used for works at occupied residences. Additional materials to support these works will published over the coming days.