Government announcement about getting back on business premises or sites

23 April 2020

The Government has announced we will move to COVID-19 Alert Level 3 on Tuesday next week, and construction is one of the industries that can return to work under new COVID-19 protocols.

Prior to this, the Government has indicated businesses will be allowed to do the minimum necessary to prepare for Alert Level 3.

Click here for more details

Master Builders understands: 

  • No physical works or construction works is allowed to start until we are in Level 3. This includes high risk work or work that would normally require a permit. The Government has announced we will go to Level 3 at 11:59pm Monday 27 April 2020.
  • There will be no access to client sites until you have requested and have received written approval allowing entry. Some will request that you have a Site Specific Safety Plan or similar agreed to prior to approval being granted.
  • Access to sites that you own or rent and are under your control should be under the following conditions:
    o An induction covering the risks associated with the activities to be undertaken has been given to employees entering those sites.
    o Works on those premises (not sites) have no physical activity element and are limited to the administration preparation of Health and Safety protocols under alert level 3, this should be done from home in the first instance.
    o The Protocols are available here.

What this means for members: 

Members can visit sites for limited purposes only, you can:

  • Conduct a review of installation of wash/sanitation stations
  • Clean premises and equipment
  • Check site conditions to ensure sites are safe for return of workers
  • Make observations that allow detailed development of Site Specific Safety Plans
  • Clear, unpack and sort freight. This does not include being on site for the receiving of materials. Ensure delivery protocols are adhered to
  • Check and prepare equipment
  • Check site security and safety controls during lockdown
  • Obtain equipment or enabling systems so workers can work from home
  • Post signage and posters related to workers returning to sites

Businesses should carefully consider what activities are absolutely necessary and how to safely operate based on individual circumstances. 

COVID-19 Control/Safety Template

Worksafe have put together templates for managing the risk of COVID-19 when you go back on site as well as some FAQs.

Click here to access these. 

BRANZ COVID-19 Website

BRANZ is providing guidelines for returning to sites. It’s a great resource about considering the condition of the site and materials after lockdown and guidance on exposure limits. We recommend reviewing the website and using the information now to assist you once you’re fully back on site.

Click here to go to the BRANZ website. 

MBIE Alert Level 3 Guidance

MBIE released guidance about retailers and suppliers selling to tradespeople and information on building and construction site inspections. You can read more about these here.

We recommend contacting your supplier early to allow them time to process your order and reduce the risk of time delays. Suppliers will need to limit the number of customers on site, so you may experience waiting times if you visit the supplier premises. 

With council inspections, we recommend contacting them and asking them about their requirements for being on site and their ability to accept other evidence, like photographs, to satisfy the requirements of the consent. 

Over-exposed Materials

Careful assessment of over-exposed materials should occur on sites particularly near the coast or where ponding occurs. We recommend reviewing your insurance contract or contacting your insurance broker should materials suffer from over-exposure in the first instance. 

Mates in Construction

Mates in Construction have put together resources for members to use when they get back on site. It’s important that we remember that people will be at different levels of mental wellness when they return to work.

You can access these here.

Members Survey Reminder 

Thank you to those who have filled out the short survey about the disruption of COVID-19 on your business and the sector. To the members who haven’t done it yet, we would really like to hear from you. Your voice and ideas support our work with Government in helping the sector now and in the future. 

Click here to access the survey