With the changes required for New Zealand’s move to Alert Level 2 on May 14th 2020, the following information may be of assistance to workplaces.
Remember ‘all reasonably practicable steps’ from the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015.
Taking all the precautions advised by the NZ Government and Ministry of Health, such as:
- only going to work if you are in good health
- tracking all contacts – to provide evidence of any links to anyone who has Covid-19. This can be achieved most effectively by signing in and out of each workplace and recording each engagement, preferably via electronic communications tools. Consider the privacy of individuals when you take their details, ensuring that the information is used only for this purpose!
- there must be clean facilities for hand washing that are well-serviced, with soap, sanitiser and disposable towels etc
- maintaining a minimum of 1metre distance between all workers and others in the workplace
- all concerns raised by workers are addressed immediately and appropriately
- documenting all communications relating to concerns raised and noting communications with anyone in association with related concerns
- all standard operating procedures (SOPs) are reviewed to ensure the necessary precautions are being addressed e.g. physical distancing and PPE
- getting guidance from an expert (www.hasanz.org.nz ) if there are any concerns
- if there are customers in the workplace, they must have the safety processes explained to them prior to engaging with any workers (e.g. by written notice posted in the entry area and a discussion to ensure understanding), and any essential PPE provided and worn
- if there are new workers, pre-employment health screening will be undertaken where appropriate and a full induction provided prior to work activities being undertaken.
- new workers must be supervised until they are deemed competent (by a competent person) to work alone.
Guidance from Government:
At Alert Level 2 businesses can have customers on their premises if they can meet public health requirements. This means businesses should:
- have a contact tracing system in place to record everyone who you interact with on your premises
- maintain physical distancing of 1 metre between groups of customers.
Services can also be provided on customers’ premises, for example, cleaning and home help.
This means that most businesses can open their premises to the public, including:
- bars and cafes
- hardware, gardening, and clothing retailers
- butchers, bakeries, and fishmongers.
Hospitality businesses should keep groups seated, separated, and use a single server if possible.
For contact tracing speed is of the essence. The clock starts as soon as someone feels sick. If you get a sniffle, seek advice and get a test.
The Government will look at lifting these restrictions in two weeks. If our numbers still look good the gatherings size may increase.
We need to play it safe, behave like the virus is still amongst us. Keep your distance from others in public on transport. If you’re sick stay home and if you have symptoms of cold or flu call your doctor. Wash your hands. Don’t get together socially or mingle with more than 10 people at once. Keep a record of where you’ve been and who you’ve seen.