Moving to Alert Level 2 brings many more PCBUs (persons conducting a business or undertaking – businesses, not-for-profits and other organisations) back to work.
The risk of COVID-19 transmission in the community remains, though the move to Alert Level 2 reflects the risk is lower. This means it’s safer to do a range of work activities, including having customers on premises and having some workers return to the office.
At Alert Level 2, Worksafe will focus on whether PCBUs are meeting public health requirements for the prevention of COVID-19 transmission at work, and will continue to focus on whether they’re meeting their HSWA requirements too.
Now that restrictions on movement have eased, Worksafe in-person interactions will increase.
WorkSafe COVID-19 enforcement approach
COVID-19 is primarily a public health matter. The Ministry of Health sets the requirements for preventing the disease’s spread. We expect PCBUs to implement and maintain the infectious disease control measures it’s identified.
The COVID-19 controls for work and workplaces are:
- ensure people with COVID-19 symptoms stay off the premises
- maintain physical distancing
- enable good hygiene practices
- keep track of people that enter the premises.
WorkSafe will continue to take a balanced, proportionate and pragmatic approach to enforcing Alert Level requirements. WorkSafe have a range of HSWA enforcement options that they can use if people at workplaces are unreasonably put at risk. They will be working closely with other government agencies, as necessary, to ensure PCBUs and people are doing what is needed to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
How Worksafe will deliver our regulatory functions under Alert Level 2
While COVID-19 is top of mind at the moment, WorkSafe continue to expect PCBUs to meet their obligations under HSWA and the Electricity and Gas Acts, and regulations under them. And you must also implement COVID-19 public health requirements.
WorkSafe will be actively checking that PCBUs are doing what is expected of them.
Under Alert Level 2 WorkkSafe will be increasing their in-person engagement with PCBUs so you can expect to see them out and about more.
They decision to meet with PCBUs and others in-person will be made on a case-by-case basis, taking into account:
- the health and safety risks associated with having an in-person meeting
- whether they can get the information they need in other ways such as by phone or using other technology, or from other agencies
- public health requirements.
WorkSafe will deliver some functions through in-person interactions, and some by other means such as via email, or phone.
However they interact with you, they’ll be balanced and proportionate in our approach at all times, particularly where reasonable efforts are being made to manage COVID-19 related risks.