Meeting HSWA under COVID-19 Protection Framework
The Government announced the COVID-19 Protection Framework (CPF) to replace the Alert Level system from 11:59pm on 2 December 2021. Under the Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 (HSWA) agencies (as PCBUs) are required to take all reasonable steps to provide a safe working environment for workers. This includes:
- Eliminating and managing the risk of the spread of Covid-19 (and other infectious disease) so far as reasonably practicable.
- Managing other health and safety risks, including those linked to or amplified by the Covid-19 environment.
- Supporting the wellbeing of staff through this period of uncertainty and change.
- Consulting and coordinating with other PCBUs as part of their response.
- Engaging with workers and their unions/representatives about health and safety issues and working to achieve a mutually acceptable outcome.
Complying with all required public health and social measures remains the bottom line for all agencies while continuing to provide public services for all New Zealand. It is recognised that agencies also have a role in helping New Zealand’s Covid-19 Immunisation Programme succeed, by encouraging and supporting workers to get vaccinated.(external link)
Managing COVID-19 Risks at an Agency Level
- Engage with workers and their unions/representatives regularly
- Undertake and regularly review COVID-19 H&S risk assessment
- Identify, implement and review controls to minimise the risk of transmission
- Provide training and support for managers and workers
- Promote vaccination for all workers
- Visit official websites regularly to keep up to date with current guidance
- Keep managers and workers informed by maintaining up-to-date information on internal platforms and with regular communications
Review and check
- COVID-19 and related controls measures can have secondary impats on workers or clients (e.g. fatigue, stress, increase in violent or aggressive behaviour).
Understanding Government frameworks
- As COVID-19 risks and impacts are better understood, the Government will update and alter its approach
- Agencies need to apply the framework consistently and have a plan for how different setting will affect them.
This page provides general information for health and safety leaders and practitioners of state sector agencies. For specific Covid-19 guidance and to up-to-date official information and resources please regularly check the sites below:
- www.covid-19.govt.nz(external link)(external link) for the latest updates and current Covid-19 information, including alert level information and information on New Zealand's Covid-19 vaccination rollout plan.
- www.moh.govt.nz(external link)(external link) for information on current cases, health advice and more specific health information for sectors, businesses etc. Includes more detailed information on PPE and face coverings, Covid-19 vaccines and other resources and tools (including wellbeing / mental health).
- www.worksafe.govt.nz(external link)(external link) for health and safety information, guidance, and resources for PCBUs. Includes information on operating safely at each alert level.
- www.publicservice.govt.nz(external link)(external link) for specific public service/sector guidance. May include specific requirements, expectations or principles as determined by the Public Service Commissioner, and links to additional sector guidance (e.g. Government Property Group, Privacy etc).
- www.mentalhealth.org.nz/get-help/getting-through-together(external link)(external link) for guidance and resources to support mental wellbeing during Covid-19.
The Government Health and Safety Lead has developed some agency resources to support you to understand the infection prevention control measures being used within organisations.