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Returning to Work: Practical Steps

Here are some initial practical steps employers can take at each Alert Level change:

Communicate with workers and identify whether any are:

    • in the ‘at risk’ category
    • required to self-isolate
    • unwell with covid-19 symptoms
    • are restricted in their work due to childcare arrangements
    • unable to work for any other COVID-19 related reason
  • Determine which jobs can be carried out from home and which workers will need to come onto your premises to work
  • Check industry guidance on safe work, the Ministry of Health website and
  • Strongly encourage your workers to get vaccinated – give them time during work hours to get vaccinated if you wish
  • Ensure workers know what to do if they feel sick or have any of the signs of COVID
  • Identify and purchase required PPE
  • Make a hygiene plan including a cleaning and sanitising schedule
  • Consider if and what daily health checks will be performed
  • Check your skills and experience with the returning workforce are adequate
  • Prepare any health and safety training required e.g. wearing/disposal of PPE, cleaning, return to work refreshers on high risk tasks
  • Decide how you will communicate instructions and processes to workers
  • Consider methods for worker travel that maintain physical distance (1 metre in workplace, 2 metres outside the workplace).
  • Maintain a contact tracing register
  • Consider how separation will occur, for example, dividing the workplace into zones, staggering shifts and breaks, putting up barriers
  • Consider business continuity if any self-isolation is required due to COVID contact
  • Conduct pre-work workplace checks e.g, air quality checks, equipment servicing
  • Designate responsibilities for monitoring these measures, for example:
    • managing stock of PPE and hygiene goods
    • maintaining the contract tracing register
    • auditing of the cleaning schedule
    • keeping up to date with changes and industry recommendations
  • Assess and implement additional health and safety controls needed
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