• Brendon Ward
    23
    How to decide what work requires a vaccinated employee

    This mentions several questions to consider when doing a risk assessment. Has anyone developed a template?
  • Sandra Nieuwoudt
    29
    But also would like to know if the RA will look different from currently used RA templates
  • Ange White
    0
    I'm also trying to navigate my way through this at the moment. Keen to hear how others are approaching this. I'm finding the WorkSafe questions/ratings are very subjective and could be open to interpretation (e.g. low = very few; high = many)!
  • Chrissy Hansen
    18
    I have made a start but what a muddy process to wade through
  • Brendon Ward
    23
    If a numbering system (low = 1; high = 2) were to be used, what risk score means that an employee (role) requires vaccination?
  • Craig Marriott
    203
    I just commented on another thread about the tool the government is bringing out https://forum.safeguard.co.nz/discussion/604/no-jab-no-job My worry @Brendon Ward is that it will just end up as a rating of some risk factors not an actual risk assessment, so that cut-off point remains a bit arbitrary. I would rather see a baseline assessment that is robustly developed using infection and transmission data that businesses can then modify up or down by applying those risk factors to their own circumstances. That would then give an objective assessment of whether or not risk is actually high
  • Sarah Fair
    4
    I found this powerpoint and video on Shopcare's website which I can highly recommend using as a resource for your Covid 19 Vaccination risk assessment:
    Working safely from home and COVID-19 Vaccination queries:

    https://642978a5-ab0d-4d79-854e-e55cbec7b931.filesusr.com/ugd/8b313e_4c7595488de145f98e48b31a42a8eb60.pdf

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vp6hK0LRXoQ
  • Steve H
    220
    The problem I have with all the Risk Assessment models that I've seen so far, is any reference to Covid at large in a community, until cases are found, the answer is at best "I don't know". Covid may not generally at large in one community, but it only takes one infectious person to share it round, and that person may be a recently released MIQ person, or a visitor from another community where Covid is at large.

    Another flaw is, vaccination takes at least five weeks to become effective, so it's not a case of I've learnt that Covid is now present, I'll adjust my response- I have to anticipate it will be. After all, insurance companies won't allow you to take out an Insurance Policy on a building that's already on fire
  • Barbara Ford
    1
    I have just been doing a risk assessment for a specific sector that isn't your norm. If you take it back to ISO 31000 its about establishing the context first, what are their roles, who are their person exposures, where do they work, where are front facing contact locations (meeting room, vehicle, client location). The environment / facilities and how that is managed, who is front facing, who isn't, shared open plan offices, shared equipment (photocopiers). Can you operate in team bubbles, consider controls if your site becomes a location of interest. Consider worker families / vulnerable people/ workers / clients and their vulnerable people and vice versa. What are the covid controls in place - facilities, practices, opportunities for transmission. The recent basic questions on WorkSafe website were also useful prompts but most was based on context and what their roles are.

    Note the updates - few transmissions in most workplaces and essential services (health service though is a higher exposure) so general controls are working. What happens when people go home.

    Record the risks, note controls - which are largely in place and review as we move to traffic lights and endemic exposures.
    Respond to local infections, vaccinated workers also getting tested in case asymptomatic.
    You can risk assess against the context (people, environment, process and procedures) or get advice, check resources out their for controls - Min of Health or Unite covid 19 or sector resources.

    I don't know that coming up with some template is going to be that great, it was needed at the start of Delta or earlier, not end of the year!! There are sectors that are at risk now and a number that due to context will have lower risk. The risk level will change as the dynamics move forward but you need to understand your controls options now. Many are the controls we have been following under basic infection control, with vaccination an additional control where appropriate.

    Good luck out there with your RAs
  • KeithH
    94
    @Brendon Ward have you considered doing a PESTLE analysis?
  • robyn moses
    45
    Excuse the rant, but if not here, where? What work requires a vaccinated worker? According to consultant who completed RA using Worksafe template on all 600 workers (not yet mandated and a essential service operating throughout all levels) across four sites from CHCH to Auckland will need to be vaccinated otherwise infection spread in the workplace will have a substantial impact on business interests and animal welfare. Vaccination Policy with full vaccination by x date or termination of employment now on my desk for worker consultation and engagement with HS committee etc.

    How do I resolve the conflict? Does the Covid Health Response Act and mandatory orders (likely on 29/11/21 for vac. cert. workplaces) supersede HSWA?

    Appears not if you take this direct quote from Worksafe Regulatory Approach "We continue to support and encourage businesses and services to meet requirements under the relevant COVID-19 legislation alert level requirements orders (and) the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015"

    (and) then implies that the Covid 19 Health Act does not supersede the HSWA. This is really important because the PCBU still has duties and responsibilities to ensure that there is to be no harm in the workplace that they are unaware of and no risk of harm that they are aware of that they haven’t taken measures to counteract.

    People at the moment seem to believe that the order supersedes their responsibilities and are in effect committing an offence by transferring the duties and responsibilities to someone else by promoting a lesser degree of due diligence by promoting that the order says that the harm in the workplace is the virus and the only control measure is the vaccine.

    Worksafe guidance says it is not reasonably practical for the PCBU of a big organization to do due diligence as its on the Ministry of Health website, does this absolve a PCBU from looking at the likes of The Centre for Adverse Reactions Monitoring (CARM) for instance when it is readily available? And the likes of which even the World Heatlh Org. says it is likely only 5% of all such reports are actually made.

    If these were normal, circumstances and you were introducing a control measure for a harm
    that a medical authority went public and said it is directly killing individuals and you ignored that to comply with an Order then you would be prosecuted under the HSWA but we are told do not do any more due diligence than what the Ministry of Health has done for you - even here I am told to not question the science. Is not due diligence an ongoing evolving process as more information and data comes out about the vaccines and the risks than when they were first introduced alongside other medicines and testing procedures (Ministry of Health this week said vacciantion does not stop infection or spread so rapid testing is recommended) coming onto the market..
    .
    There are some risks associated with the vaccine but they are very rare. But if one of those risks is the vaccine has directly killed people the PCBU cannot ignore that. You can’t introduce something into the workplace for something like flu like symptoms that may in some circumstances be extremely dangerous to only a few individuals and in doing that require healthy individuals to take it when it is the only option available to them knowing that it is directly killing some individuals.

    That responsibility for what is in the vaccine is for the PCUB to resolve if coercing a healthy worker to take it. If they are not able to resolve that then they are the ones who should be asking for that to be resolved. Its illegal to not do this but to do it because someone else said you must do to follow this order. In effect suspend the HSWA in order to implement that order?

    Did not the death of the workers at Pike River which gave birth to the HSWA teach us anything about regulatory failures in duty of care or the lack of full disclosure in worker consultation and engagement.

    So by presenting the Covid Vaccination Policy for consultation without full disclosure of known harms mean that I too alongside my PCBU commit an offence under Sec. 47 of the HSWA or am I absolved
    because I followed orders.

    I will attach a couple of documents that might be of interest to some, the actual risk assessment is not mine and it is not something I would refer to in its entirety but it has a couple of good links that I thought worthy of exploring (and its to late in the day for me to separate them out here for this comment) as I completed what I thought was a risk assessment to determine what roles on this worksite would require a vaccinated worker similar to what I do with heavy manual handling roles requiring a worker with high degree of work fitness.
    Attachments
    SDS (592K)
    Risk Assessment of Vaccine (243K)
  • Chris Anderson
    59
    Can we not have the anti-vax BS? The risk assessment of the vaccine you have attached has absolutely no place in a health and safety setting and it is incredibly biased. Unless someone is an expert in infectious diseases, epidemiology, vaccinations their role is to apply the science and information that is supplied to them.
  • robyn moses
    45
    Thank for response. I have no peers to ask what best practice looks like in this regard; my direct report is to my site manager who sits on the senior leadership team, i have been in this role 10years with high compliance rate. If I raise any such concerns it is seen as not in buisness best interest. I am fully vaccinated because I have compromised immune system. Due to my role working from home is not an option during lockdowns so for me it makes sense to have multiple layers of controls to reduce risk. I have increased interest in looking for anything that's working well because my two year old grandchild will migrate with my fully vaccinated son and his wife to her home town in Waterford, Ireland, next year where currently her 75 yr old mum is on 3rd booster and has covid as does her 5 year old neice, I hope to never see that level of infection in this country, so coercion to do something that works makes sence but is it the right thing to do
  • MattD2
    237
    Vaccination Policy with full vaccination by x date or termination of employment now on my desk for worker consultation and engagement with HS committee etc.robyn moses
    Doesn't sound like any actual employee consultation went on there - sounds like a decision has been made by management and now go tell the workers what they have to do...

    This is really important because the PCBU still has duties and responsibilities to ensure that there is to be no harm in the workplace that they are unaware of and no risk of harm that they are aware of that they haven’t taken measures to counteract.robyn moses
    Are we waiting for the case where an employee subject to a company deciding to go "no jab, no job" suffers negative effects on their mental health as a result of the stress, etc. and if that falls under the company's duty to manage risks to their workers?
  • robyn moses
    45
    MattD2 my mental health and stress just increased exponentially with having to lead the consultation process, engagement and participation with the workforce on the work site for the senior leadership teams proposed vaccination policy. With a Worksafe guide beside me that says "your focus in the risk assessment must be on the role – the work being done – rather than the individual performing the role. If you want your employees to be vaccinated for reasons other than work health and safety that is an employment matter" whilst the risk assessment completed by a consultant says vaccination is warranted because the business needs to continue to operate to support NZ food supply and animal welfare concerns through shut down disruptions

    With no HR I am now having to listen to staff concerns (these are minimum wage workers, for some english is a second language) about inserting magnets or growing two heads while trying to keep an impartial face on while referring them to talk with their GP or the MOH 0800 number; hearing workers complain off bullying from direct supervisors and co-workers re vaccination status, union reps. up in arms wanting pay increases for vaccinated staff; production complaining that are understaffed and already turning away job seekers and Winz beneficiaries because of their vaccine status and I have four workers complaining of health issues post vaccination (that we took them to the center to get). Do I register them in our accident/incident register along with my own stress and mental health I wonder.
  • Steve H
    220
    Much is made of the fact that mRNA based vaccines "appeared" to come from "nowhere", This is not the case, the concept is more than 30 years old,Robert Malone developed the basic idea in 1987, it was (in part) conceived as a potential cancer treatment and for that purpose has been undergoing human trial work since 2011,
    .
    Equally, the word "provisional" in the vaccines Medsafe's approval is seized on to try and somehow equate with "experimental", it is not. Medsafe allows the use of all new drugs for periods of two years, this is the same approval given to normal variants of the yearly flu vaccine.

    Is there the possibility of an adverse reaction/side effects from being vaccinated? There is the possibility of having an adverse reaction or side effects from any drug, so far, after about 1 Billion shots given world wide, the Pfizer vaccine has seen a very, very low number of these happening

    Does the Covid Health Response Act and mandatory orders (likely on 29/11/21 for vac. cert. workplaces) supersede HSWA?robyn moses
    Yes, and NZ Bill of Rights, this has been clearly established by the judgements so far heard by ERA,and the High Court.Case name K, B, L, N & Ors v Minister of COVID-19 Response & Ors

    Citation [2021] NZHC 3012 8 November 2021

    Summary judgment Challenge to Order requiring Aviation Security Service employees to be vaccinated dismissed. Order was within empowering provision notwithstanding the provision made no reference to vaccination as it helped to minimise the risk of outbreak or spread of COVID-19. Order limited the applicants rights to refuse to undergo medical treatment, but this was demonstrably justified under the Bill of Rights as vaccination contributed to minimising the risk of outbreak or spread. The Minister had not failed to take into account relevant considerations, or made an irrational decision. The Court commented on the desirability of vaccination mandates being addressed by primary legislation.

    Judgement:Case name K, B, L, N & Ors v Minister of COVID-19 Response & Ors Citation [2021] NZHC 3012 8 November 2021 Summary judgment Challenge to Order requiring Aviation Security Service employees to be vaccinated dismissed. Order was within empowering provision notwithstanding the provision made no reference to vaccination as it helped to minimise the risk of outbreak or spread of COVID-19. Order limited the applicants rights to refuse to undergo medical treatment, but this was demonstrably justified under the Bill of Rights as vaccination contributed to minimising the risk of outbreak or spread. The Minister had not failed to take into account relevant considerations, or made an irrational decision. The Court commented on the desirability of vaccination mandates being addressed by primary legislation. Judgement: https://www.courtsofnz.govt.nz/assets/Uploads/2021-NZHC-3012.pdf
  • robyn moses
    45
    Thank for that yes the more I delve I see, and hope my PCBU doesn't learn HSWA is in the backseat as I try to push engineering controls for clean air in a workplace that does not meet the scope for all 600 workers to be vaccinated but nevertheless it is required because of the transmission hazard. Yes the Mrna technology is an amazing breakthrough imagine the day when bodies can be instructed to produce bone marrow for leukemia patients for example
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