David Kelly Update: Working at Alert Level 3

29 April 2020

Working at Alert Level 3
We are now at Level 3, which means that you can get back to work at business premises or on sites. To do this, you must have a COVID-19 control plan in place, with appropriate health and safety and physical distancing measures for both staff and any building occupants (especially if you are doing house renovations). 

Following the protocols is not optional, it is a requirement. 

The protocols were an important part in Government's decision to allow the construction sector to get back to work. If we do not follow the protocols, individual sites can be closed down and the sector as a whole will lose trust that we can operate responsibly and safely

You can access copies of the protocols for both commercial and residential projects from the CHASNZ website here. CHASNZ also provides a range of tools and resources like the WorkSafe COVID-19 control plans, site checklists posters and health declaration forms. You can access these and more here

Health and Safety Protocols for Display Homes
The protocols for display homes are now available and are available from  the CHASNZ website . Click here for the CHASNZ website. These protocols focus on ensuring safe distance between clients and employees, site cleanliness and contact tracing. 

COVID-19 on-site apps
The ConstructSafe App is available for download and provides tools to help with the requirements of working under COVID-19 alert levels. ConstructSafe allows you to connect with over 90,000 other users so you can communicate and share your knowledge and experiences.
You don’t need to complete the ConstructSafe assessment, you only need to register either as yourself or as a business to access the tools. More information about the app is available here

Alternatively, SiteSoft has released their Covid-19 Healthy Site feature as part of their SiteConnect site management software. Utilising geo-fencing technology, it is designed to take the hard work out of new tracking and tracing requirements.  Until the end of May, SiteSoft is offering their software at a 10% discount to all Registered Master Builders. Full details of the new feature and SiteConnect software can be found at here or contact them on +64 800 748 763.

Make suicide prevention a key part of ‘back to work’ programmes 
Before Covid-19, the New Zealand construction sector already had a major problem with mental health and suicide. We thought we knew how bad it was, but as new research comes through, we are learning that the problem is much worse than originally thought, and the picture is only now being clarified. Click here to access the MATES website for further information. 

Now that we have moved back into Level 3, we are also aware that the pressures of the lockdown could yet make a bad situation even worse for many people in the industry. 

  • Ensure that MATES is part of the back to work plans for your company under Level 3
  • MATES mental health induction pack has been developed to support everyone going back to work on site – offering guides, posters, videos and a presentation – this can be integrated into your inductions and briefings onsite.
  • MATES can deliver simple support programmes onsite to your staff. Under Levels 2 and 3 - we can deliver the MATE programme, a conversation similar to a Toolbox Talk.
  • MATES deliver online support to individuals and teams via their free online Lunch Room where workers can come together for a chat to help them cope with anxiety, stress and worries amid this uncertain time.
  • Case Management support is available to everyone, both online and onsite.
  • MATES is here to help you - so reach out to us on 0800 11 315 or free text 5353 any time day or night

Travelling at Alert Level 3
The Ministry of Transport advises that people should not travel between regions unless they need to for education and work purposes. 

If questioned, you should be able to clearly explain the purpose of your travel and how it complies with the Alert Level 3 restrictions. Any documentation that you can provide as evidence is helpful (such as: proof of residential address, evidence of where you work, evidence of attendance at an educational institution).

As an example, you would be able to travel between Nelson and Blenheim or Hamilton and Tauranga or Auckland and Whangarei if it's for education and/or work purposes only. It’s about using common sense and assessing whether your trip is necessary or if  you're stopped by Police, whether your trip is too long.