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Preparing for NZ Construction at Alert Level 3: New COVID-19 Standards and Protocols

Published on April 20, 2020 by Angelica Manlangit

The New Zealand Government has lowered the coronavirus alert from 4 to 3, enabling construction businesses to go back to work but under strict health and safety rules. Transitioning back to work necessitates adhering to the new COVID-19 Construction Protocols and Standard for New Zealand Construction Operations.

Leading industry associations SiteSafe, CHASNZ, Master Builders and Civil Contractors NZ have united together during this pandemic to create a 5 step guide to returning to work – Alert Level 3. It is vital that construction businesses adapt their operations to adhere to the guideline to protect everyone on site and give the industry the confidence to be the stronghold pulling the economy back out of this crisis.

Before arriving onsite

– COVID-19 plan outlining how to mitigate risks must be created and communicated to all employees prior to working.
– Use of remote inductions as much as possible, if there is no other option than face to face, then social distancing and hygiene protocols must be undertaken
– All workers must confirm they are safe to be on site by following the personal health flowchart
–  Site transport protocol must be adhered to such as one person per vehicle where possible, a log is to be kept to record who has arrived on site, how they travelled and who they travelled with for contact tracing purposes and workers must travel home in the same vehicle they arrived in
– Ensure all employees have access and wear additional PPE where required, including gloves and face masks as per the Ministry of Health PPE Guide

Site entry

– Only relevant employees are allowed on the job site. Office staff must work remotely where possible.
– Daily register of workers entering and leaving the site must be completed along with a health declaration.
– COVID-19 physical distancing and hygiene protocol signage must be posted at the site entrance and in common areas where appropriate.

Site operations

– Physical distancing and hygiene protocols all throughout the project
– All site visitors will be restricted to one person where possible
– All offices, jobsites, tools, equipment, plant and vehicles must implement cleaning measures as per the cleaning guide
– Toolbox talks should be held with physical distancing in place
– Additional sanitary measures should be adopted, specifically hand washing stations, provision of sanitiser and disinfectant products.
– Smokers must undertake physical distancing from their peers
– COVID-19 Response Plan must be available on site

Leaving site

– Workers must use the Sign-in register to sign out.
– Workers will need to follow the necessary hygiene measures when returning home
– Each site must be cleaned and sanitised at the end of the working day or end of each shift
– All waste and disposable PPE must be removed from site and securely disposed
– Workers must adhere to transportation protocols

Management protocols

– Must have a COVID-19 Response plan in place to identify processes for dealing with suspected and confirmed COVID-19 cases
– Communicate the site expectations and prevention measures to all workers and contractors
– Stay in contact with all workers including those who may be in isolation or working remotely. Conduct Toolbox Talks regularly and keep track where and when workers are on site for contract tracing purposes and ensure they have the correct PPE
– Remember that normal health and safety obligations still apply. These Protocols are in addition to the usual health and safety controls
– Follow the COVID-19 Manager’s Checklist

The digital solution

Assignar is the operations platform built for sub and self-perform contractors. Now more than ever, the fieldworker app enables contractors to abide by physical distancing rules whilst collecting all the necessary documentation as outlined in the guide.

The fieldworker app allows workers to submit their timesheets via their phone, with each submission date and time-stamped with geo-location. Furthermore, safety forms such as the personal health flowchart and toolbox talks can be linked to a timesheet. By doing such, workers cannot submit their timesheet until they have completed the compulsory safety forms, making your workers accountable for their actions and collating the data you need to keep business going.

With physical distancing implemented from not only the field but also the office, communication job details, new procedures and expectations are paramount in running your business smoothly during this time. Assignar’s fieldworker app allows all important information to be shared in real-time. For example, workers no longer need to go to the yard or depot to collect job details. Scheduling through Assignar, sees workers have access to all job details, from job location, job times, site contact and site location which is linked to Google Maps.  Additionally, your mandatory COVID-19 Response plan can be uploaded by your office staff remotely and accessible to all workers via the fieldworker app.

Assignar’s operations platform is cloud-based which means your office workers can work remotely to adhere to the guidelines and workers on site can conduct remote inductions, digital sign-ins and completely necessary safety forms without sharing pens and paper and having to be in close proximity to their peers.

Learn how other sub and self-perform contractors are using Assignar to tackle COVID-19.

 

 

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