COVID-19 Information Hub for Plumbers

This page was last updated: 11/06/2021 at 9:36 pm

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For a detailed overview of the changes that apply from 11.59pm Thursday, 3 June, please refer to the following resources:

https://www.premier.vic.gov.au/statement-acting-premier-2

Table of restrictions

The Workplace Directions of the Chief Health Officer require businesses that are permitted to continue to work to have a density quotient of 1 person per 4 sqm in shared workspaces and areas accessible by the public. This is a tighter requirement from the current 1 person per 2 sqm (where contactless tracing is in place) and is in effect during the period of the lockdown.

According to the Government: 

A density quotient of one person per four square metres applies in all premises and spaces that are open and accessible to the public, and in shared spaces within workplaces (such as lunchrooms).

A density quotient is the number of people allowed in each space. It is designed to support physical distancing and minimise close contact between people to minimise the risk of COVID-19 transmission.

Workers in publicly accessible spaces are counted in the density quotient if they are in the space on an ongoing basis (and not on an ad hoc basis). 

More information about calculating density quotients is available on the Government website.

Further guidance to share about the restrictions in place.

Renovations in occupied homes or apartments 
Renovations in homes or apartments should not continue unless these are urgent or essential repairs. Workers must wear a face mask and avoid contact with residents at all times.

Worker permits and employment letters
Workers or workers at Authorised Providers are not required to carry a worker permit or employment letter to prove they can work. When sending staff out to a job, it is advisable to have them:

  • travel in a clearly branded vehicle;
  • wearing branded clothing; and
  • carrying a work order that clearly details the work they will be carrying out so that it aligns to the allowable works detailed in the government advice released yesterday.

Master Plumbers training

  • Scheduled training next week for TMV and Gas A will continue as this is a permitted activity under the high-risk work licenses and credentials exemption.
  • We have been advised that Master Plumbers RTO is not permitted to continue face-to-face apprentice plumbing training during the lockdown.  We will be delivering online classes to apprentices Monday and Tuesday and will reopen Friday.  We will directly contact our students and their employers to provide this advice.  We are disappointed with the disruption this will cause and have pointed out to government that face-to-face plumbing training operated safely throughout 2020’s lockdown, keeping apprentices engaged, learning and in work.​

Can maintenance work continue in homes or apartments where residents are staying?

Maintenance work in homes or apartments can only continue where it is essential for the continued operation of:

  • essential infrastructure and essential services that are required to maintain or protect human health, safety and wellbeing (whether provided by a public or private undertaking), and including construction, maintenance and repair of such infrastructure; or
  • critical repairs to any premises where required for emergency or safety; or
  • services to support ongoing provision and regulation of electricity, gas, water, sewage and waste and recycling services and their maintenance.
  • This applies regardless of whether residents are staying in the home or apartment. Workers must wear a face mask at all times.

Remember to follow the rules

It is our commitment to safety that has granted us this exemption and allowed construction to remain open.  It is in our own hands to ensure we remain SAFE and OPEN.  There is an expectation from government and industry leaders that a Master Plumber will set an example through their vigilance and adherence to best practice in our industry, as well as calling out bad behaviour if they see it.

Please make sure you follow the requirements below

  • Strict adherence to Revision 12 of Construction Industry Guidelines;
  • Cleaning, signage, record keeping, and other COVIDSafe requirements continue to apply for all venues and facilities with onsite operations as per Workplace Directions;
  • The Density Quotient (DQ) applies to all venues and spaces that are accessible to the public (and in closed workplaces, to shared spaces such as lunchrooms); and
  • Travel permits are not required. 

Stay safe and look out for each other.

The Acting Premier, James Merlino today announced a 7 day circuit-breaker lockdown from 11:59 tonight until 11:59pm on June 3.

We have since received further guidance about the restrictions from Government.

We welcome the news that construction will remain open (more details below) subject to the following requirements:

  • Strict adherence to Revision 12 of Construction Industry Guidelines;
  • Cleaning, signage, record keeping, and other COVIDSafe requirements continue to apply for all venues and facilities with onsite operations as per Workplace Directions;
  • The Density Quotient (DQ) applies to all venues and spaces that are accessible to the public (and in closed workplaces, to shared spaces such as lunchrooms); and
  • Travel permits are not required. 

It is our commitment to safety that has granted us this exemption and it is in our own hands to ensure we remain SAFE and OPEN.  There is an expectation from government and industry leaders that a Master Plumber will set an example through their vigilance and adherence to best practice in our industry, as well as calling out bad behaviour if they see it.

We also encourage all eligible Victorians over the age of 40 to get vaccinated as soon as practicable if they are medically able to do so. This is a critical path to keeping the community safe and our industry and the broader community open. See links below on how to do this.

The team at Master Plumbers are here to support you. Click here for contact details

Stay safe and look out for each other.
 

More detail about permitted and restricted activities

Construction businesses can open under circuit breaker restrictions. If employees are unable to work from home they can leave home to attend permitted work.

This includes any person who performs work that is essential for the continued operation of:

  • essential infrastructure and essential services that are required to maintain or protect human health, safety and wellbeing (whether provided by a public or private undertaking), and including construction, maintenance and repair of such infrastructure; or 
  • critical repairs to any premises where required for emergency or safety; or
  • domestic and commercial waste and resource recovery services (including collection, treatment and disposal services and transfer stations), including:
        – electricity services; and
        – operation of energy systems; and
        – gas services; and
        – water supply, sewerage and drainage services; and
        – liquid fuels and refinery services; or
  • services to support ongoing provision and regulation of electricity, gas, water, sewage and waste and recycling services and their maintenance; or
  • building and construction services; or
  • administrative services to support eg payroll and IT; or
  • any worker who is performing work for an authorised provider; or
  • conduct of essential adult training services, including apprentices.

Importantly, there is an overarching requirement that if you can work from home you should – this will apply to most ‘head office’ locations.

A full list of restricted and permitted activities is now available.

We are seeking urgent clarification from government as to whether construction activity (e.g. renovations) and non-emergency service and maintenance inside occupied domestic sites is permitted.  The interim advice from Government and Master Plumbers is that the licensed plumber should exercise judgement as to whether or not the works can be postponed, in the context that the circuit-breaker restrictions are intended to minimise non-essential personal interactions. 

From midnight tonight, Victoria will enter a seven day lockdown.  View the list of 7 day circuit breaker restrictions here: 210527 – 7 Day Circuit Breaker Restrictions.

Master Plumbers expect to receive more detailed information about our industry later today and will provide updates as soon as they come to hand.

What would you like to know?

  1. Information to assist employers manage the impact of COVID-19 on both their workforce and their business.

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  2. Get the latest information about Government stimulus packages and what they mean for your business.

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  3. Watch video updates from Master Plumbers CEO Peter Daly.

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  1. Free training to help you and your business manage the COVID-19 crisis.

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  2. Missed some information? You can find it in the archive.

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  3. The Coronavirus or COVID-19. What is it and what do you need to know.

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Contact details for Master Plumbers Team during COVID-19 can be found here
alternatively, you can contact the Business Victoria hotline on 13 22 15