The key change from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 is the relaxing of physical distancing requirements onsite
Revised standard and protocols for construction at Alert Level 1
With the announcement that New Zealand was moving to Covid-19 Alert Level 1 on Monday 8 June, the construction industry has published a revised standard and protocols for ongoing operations.
The New Zealand Covid-19 Construction Protocols provide ‘how to’ guidance which sit below the Covid-19 Standard for New Zealand Construction Operations. These protocols are a living document which are kept updated by a working party of health and safety practitioners from across the industry and can be adapted on a site-by-site basis.
Protocols are available for the residential, vertical and horizontal sectors, with guidance provided by a number of groups led by Site Safe, Civil Contractors NZ (CCNZ), Registered Master Builders and NZ Certified Builders.
The revised standard and protocols can be downloaded from the Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ) website.
Relaxing of physical distancing requirements
The key change from Alert Level 2 to Alert Level 1 is the relaxing of physical distancing requirements onsite. Workplaces and workers are still encouraged to maintain 1 metre distance, but this is not a hard requirement.
Construction sites are still required to sign in and out workers to assist with contact tracing, should this be necessary. Personal hygiene should be maintained – this means workers should regularly wash hands with soap and water or use hand sanitiser – and workplaces should maintain regular cleaning of common areas such as bathrooms, meeting rooms and surfaces.
Workers should only come to work if they are free from flu and cold symptoms. Emergency response plans are still to be in place.
CHASNZ CEO Chris Alderson says the changes are consistent with the Government’s golden rules for Alert Level 1. “We need to stay vigilant. There is still a global pandemic going on. People and businesses should be prepared to act fast to step up alert levels if we have to.”