COVID-19 health and safety standards – Construction Sector Accord

Apr 17, 2020

As New Zealand prepares to ease restrictions in level 3 the construction industry is preparing to return operation. The Construction Sector Accord has released its new Health & Safety guidelines to ensure this work occurs safely.

Health and safety standards

New industry health and safety standards and protocols for operating under COVID-19 alert levels have been developed and are now available to the sector.

Consistent health and safety standards are essential to both protect workers and stop the spread of COVID-19, and to give people confidence that it is safe to return to work.

Construction Health and Safety New Zealand (CHASNZ), our peak health and safety body and a member of the Construction Sector Accord, developed the industry standards in collaboration with government agencies, WorkSafe, Construction Sector Accord member groups and client organisations.

The standards lay out the key principles and requirements for healthy and safe construction-related operations under COVID-19 Alert Levels 2 and 3.

Two sets of protocols, for the residential sector and the civil and vertical sectors, have been developed to guide the industry in how to implement the standards. The development of the protocols was led by SiteSafe, Civil Contractors New Zealand, Vertical Construction Leaders Group, and other leaders from the residential sector. These organisations in turn, consulted with field experts in the industry.

The protocols include guidance for businesses on creating a ‘COVID-19 control plan’ including protocols around physical distancing, hygiene, site entry and exit, deliveries, and visitor protocols.

It’s very important for contractors, subbies and everyone who is permitted on and around sites to understand and work to these new protocols.

The standards represent current best practice, and the expectation is all construction sector businesses and workers will apply them, and do the right thing. The sooner we can stamp out COVID-19 in New Zealand, the sooner our businesses can thrive again. A return to Alert Level 4 will have even more serious consequences for our businesses, jobs and economy.

It’s worth noting that clients, particularly in the civil, vertical and large residential sectors, have a significant role to play in ensuring their principal contractors meet the standards and follow the protocols.

The protocols are a ‘living document’ and will be updated as best practice develops and we receive further industry feedback. More information on where to get help with the protocols and how to provide feedback can be found on the CHASNZ website.

COVID-19 – Standard and Protocols for New Zealand Construction Operations

This work is part of the Accord’s Construction Sector COVID-19 Response Plan. We’ll continue to update you on further actions and decisions in the plan as they made.

He waka eke noa

The Construction Sector Accord Team

How we can help

At Forsite, we’re motivated to support business to safely resume operations in the covid climate. We specialise in reducing human contact, automating presence, and improving safety on sites. Get in touch if you’re interested in developing a COVID-19 plan that can be easily integrated into your business today. 

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