• Garth Forsberg
    With our impending move to a traffic light system, based on living with the risk of Covid infection in the community, we can no longer rely on the elimination part of the hierarchy of controls.
    So all the other layers will have to be re-examined and beefed up.
    In my company we are doing the following:
    • We are getting stricter on the Isolate, and using the latest CHASNZ protocol on when staff have to isolate after possible exposure.
    • We are working on other engineering controls such as checking / repairing / upgrading our air conditioning to improve air circulation.
    • We are working with those clients that have requested or have been required to only have vaccinated staff attend their sites. We are also assessing the risk level for some site visits and not sending unvaccinated to indoor client inspections.
    • We are strongly encouraging vaccinations for all staff.
    • We are making sure all courier deliveries will be contactless.

    • Then we are stressing enforcement of the admin controls for contact tracing and signing in.
    • We have also reiterated the importance of PPE - masks, hand sanitiser etc.

    We are considering having work bubbles so that a confirmed case in the office won't cripple the whole companies ability to do field work.
    We are considering increasing the frequency of wiping down high touch surfaces.

    Is there anything else that any others are out there are doing? If we can get a discussion going then some good ideas may be spread from one industry or area to another.
  • Tony Walton
    Good question Garth. You appear to be taking 'all practicable steps' to keep people safe from infection. Just get past 'considering' to 'implementing' a Covid 19 safety plan for your operations. Take into account any mandated government advice. This is a serious crisis and one would expect organizations to 'act in good faith' to protect staff from harm as far as reasonably practicable.
  • Steve H
    You work for an Engineering Consultancy Garth, generally similar companies have large open plan offices, with lots of desks ranged in rows, that would seem like a recipe for spreading Covid (or any other air borne disease).

    Along with your already mentioned work on checking etc your offices air conditioning, have you considered installing HEPA portable filtration units? from another thread:

    For a sealed up room, that can't be readily ventilated, it may be worth investigating portable filtration units with HEPA filters. Just been reading COVID-19 Outbreak and Hospital Air Quality: A Systematic Review of Evidence on Air Filtration and Re-circulation , bit of light bedtime reading :smile:Steve H
  • robyn moses
    Preventative risk management to boost immune systems in both vaccinated and unvaccinated workers. Issue bottles of Vit. D3 and Vitamin K to activate (alternatively two serves of sauerkraut a day). Why, who for and dosage link at bottom of comment.
    In areas where there is high community transmission or risk of e.g. planes, poor air flow boardrooms/office encourage nasal sprays, regular nasal washing (similar to throat gargle) and blowing nose instead of inhaling mucus (virus from infected individuals is more able to enter the respiratory track by sticking to mucus in nasal cavity where it is ingested)
    COVID-19 Mortality Risk Correlates Inversely with Vitamin D3 Status, a Mortality Rate Close to Zero Could Theoretically Be Achieved at 50 ng/mL 25(OH)D3: (125 nmol/L) Results of a Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis https://www.mdpi.com/2072-6643/13/10/...
  • MattD2
    Great thread Garth, I hope that all businesses that are looking at putting in a mandatory vaccination policy have considered these points before doing so... of course they have because that is what the WorkSafe NZ guidelines told them to do (where's the Tui billboard...)

    One more point I would add is to revise their Sick leave policy - best case go to a unlimited sick leave policy, but if that is a bridge-to-far at the moment then at least an unlimited Covid-related sick leave policy. Eliminate the need for any worker to have to weigh up the risk of potentially infecting others at work and paying the rent this week.

    COVID-19 Mortality Risk Correlates Inversely with Vitamin D3 Status, a Mortality Rate Close to Zero Could Theoretically Be Achieved at 50 ng/mL 25(OH)D3robyn moses

    Got to be careful with this - while there is a correlation is it actually caused by the increase in Vitamin D3 (and so taking D3 supplements makes sense) or is it just that those with high D3 levels are also more likely to be in better shape to fight an infection (i.e. less likely to be in the higher risk groups for Covid).
  • Steve H
    Prescribing Vitamins/Nasal Gargles etc etc could be seen as "medical treatments", dangerous territory for anyone not willing to require Vaccination I would have thought.

    Increased rates of cleaning of staff rest rooms is one of the measures Irish employers are using.

    This Radio New Zealand article on how the end of the Covid Pandemic could be helped by improving ventilation is food for thought
  • robyn moses
    Steve H Increased rates of cleaning of staff rest rooms is one of the measures Irish employers are using.
    Great work from Ireland, hoping like heck they get it under control particularly Waterford the hometown of my daughter-in-law..
    Yes, well have watched in vain for MOH to give the people any form of advise on boosting immunity, I have had to send such booster packs off to friends and family testing positive after arrival in MIQ from Europe
  • Steve H
    Ok folks, here's another layer of Swiss Cheese for your control measures

    From 1 December businesses that choose to use rapid antigen tests for surveillance testing will be able to directly source approved tests from the following authorised suppliers (all are nasal swabs):

    Roche Diagnostics NZ Ltd
    Abbott Rapid Diagnostics
    Pantonic Health (Australia) or Arrotex Pharmaceuticals (NZ) Limited
    EBOS Group Ltd.

    Businesses need to pay for rapid antigen tests themselves.

    From 15 December, if you don’t want to buy tests directly from these authorised suppliers you’ll be able to buy them from a local distributor. The Ministry of Health is currently working through the details of supply.

    The Ministry of Health recommends that businesses trial different tests before committing to buying one in bulk as there are differences in processes
  • Henry Samson
    One of my contractors is using a pulse oximeter to determine individuals oxygen levels and pulse as part of their wellness checks - this may be worth considering as another layer of control for some businesses
Add a Comment

Welcome to the Safeguard forum!

If you are interested in workplace health & safety in New Zealand, then this is the discussion forum for you.