Alert Level 3 – Are you safe to re-start?
We now know that the transition to Alert Level 3 means a re-start of work in some form for many businesses. But your business will not look like it did before, and understandably many workers and employers will be nervous and anxious about any restart, and how to operate in this new post Level 4 world.
The first priority is to keep everyone safe and well. The Government on the Covid-19 website have laid out a series of basic principles to consider before heading back to the workplace:
- Workers must work from home if they can
- Workplaces must operate safely – keeping one metre between workers, recording who is working together, limiting interaction between groups of workers, disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining high hygiene standards
- Retail and hospitality businesses can only open for delivery and contactless pre-ordered pick up – customers cannot enter stores
- Supermarkets, dairies and petrol stations can continue to allow customers into their stores, with the same restrictions and measures in place as Alert Level 4
- Businesses cannot offer services which involve face-to-face contact or sustained close contact (e.g. hairdressing, massage, house cleaning, or door-to-door salespeople)
- Other in home services can be delivered if it is safe to do so (like tradespeople for repairs or installations) – keep two metre separation from those in the house
- Most workers will not require PPE to stay safe at work, if you can maintain good hygiene measures like hand washing with soap and water, physical distancing, sneeze and cough etiquette, and wiping down surfaces
- And finally, the best defence against COVID-19 is to have a clear, considered safe-start risk plan, for how your organisation will get back to work to stop the spread of the virus, ensure no-one gets seriously harmed, and be safely productive again
1. Involve the people who’ll both be affected by it and deliver it
- Include and discuss plan with your team. Let them help develop it
- Include suppliers and contractors where possible so there are not any surprises
- Make sure customers needs are being met too, and they are being kept safe
2. Address both COVID-safe controls and critical risk controls
- Consider what risks in your business will be controllable. What cleaning and other extra measures can you put in place immediately?
- Are you able to maintain other health and safety measures while dealing with Covid-19?
- What will you do if there is an outbreak that affects one of your team? How do you minimise contagion risk if there is an outbreak?
3. Take into account and try to consider the other impacts to your business at this time
- Your team, and customers are likely to be unsettled and potentially anxious right now
- How do you manage key machinery or plant maintenance that may not have been done through Level 4?
- Are your people, and is your workplace ready for Level 3?
- Can you access all the necessary PPE?
- Will everything take longer, how quickly and can the business come back to 100% productivity
- How will demand likely change, coming out of Level 4
- Are there new work environment challenges due to COVID-safe practices
4. Take time to review it, and reassess
- Do you need to do a staged, or staggered start, so you can ‘test’ your plan
- How and when will you know whether the plan is working
- Get feedback from your team, contractors and customers on how its working
Further information and regular updates are being posted on the Government website, business.govt.nz.
From the Graham Brown & Co Team
Kia kaha, stay safe