CHASNZ has released a set of new protocols for the construction industry once New Zealand enters the new Covid-19 Protection Framework on December 3
A construction industry advisory group revised the previous COVID-19 Alert Level system construction protocols in response to the Government’s recently announced COVID-19 Protection Framework – also known as the Traffic Light system.
The new Traffic Light protocols replace the current Residential, Vertical and Horizontal Protocols from December 3 2021. The Alert Level system protocols will still be available online as resources in the case of the Government applying any future regional or national Alert Level 4 or 3 conditions.
These protocols are expected to develop and evolve as requirements change from Government and industry experience and are to be treated as live working documents, which indicate operations and planning needs for the kinds of restrictions the construction industry may be required to put in place. Revisions may occur after the new Public Health Order comes into force.
Key features of the new Traffic Light Protocols include:
- Simpler layout showing the protocols appropriate for each Traffic Light colour
- Links to key resources which can be printed out as posters
- Guidance on how to assist workers mental health at work or while isolating
- Guidance on risk assessment for whether work needs to be carried out by a fully vaccinated worker
- Guidance on controls to mitigate risk when vaccinations are not required
- Guidance on what to do when COVID-19 presents on your construction site
Further resources and assistance will be available in the coming weeks that cover practical uses of the protocols. Further Government advice on how risk assessments should be used will follow as well as information on the Traffic Light colour for each region.
Current advice from Government on the use of the future Government risk assessment tool (which will be available after 15 December 2021) is:
“This new process won’t override risk assessments that businesses have already done under the existing health and safety guidelines. Businesses can choose which one they use, and any assessments done to date remain valid.” Hon. Michael Wood, 23 November 2021.
The creation of these new protocols included participants from many parts of the construction industry who have freely given their time and experience to come up with a practical and standardised approach to managing COVID-19 in the construction workplace.