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WorkSafe records hundreds of lockdown breaches

Almost half of the complaints actioned by WorkSafe were allegations of businesses opening when they potentially should not have been. Supplied image.

WorkSafe New Zealand has received almost 600 reports of alleged Covid-19 breaches about businesses since the Level 4 lockdown came into effect on August 18, 2021.

By the morning of Friday, September 3, WorkSafe had triaged 582 reports alleging Covid breaches through both its own online notifications form and as referrals from the Unite Against Covid complaints form.

Almost half of the complaints actioned by WorkSafe were allegations of businesses opening when they potentially should not have been.

The other main issues were about mask use, physical distancing (distance between people), and overcrowding (total occupancy).

Since Alert Level 3 was announced for areas outside of Auckland, WorkSafe has triaged 44 notifications about business operating under Level 3.

WorkSafe National Manager Planning Marcus Nalter says his team had been heartened by the cooperation from businesses when WorkSafe follows up on notifications.

“For the most part, people are wanting to do the right thing in these challenging times, and we really commend those taking the right steps. Our approach has been first and foremost about educating those we receive complaints about and working with them to put safe systems in place to support their staff and their communities.

“Where we can’t get this level of cooperation, and there are people deliberately flouting the rules and not displaying the right level of care, businesses can expect WorkSafe to consider enforcement”.

Most of the reports were about Auckland based businesses, followed by Christchurch, Hamilton and Wellington. 

The region with the fewest reports referred to WorkSafe was Gisborne.

WorkSafe inspectors had completed 508 Covid-19 remote assessments by Friday morning.

WorkSafe’s key reminders for businesses and the activity they would be seeking compliance on would be the following –

It is each business's responsibility to ensure they are legally able to operate under Level 4 in Auckland and Level 3 for the rest of the country. More information on this can be found at www.business.govt.nz/covid-19/operating-at-alert-levels/.

  • Ensure your alternative contract tracing systems (so that people who don’t have the QR scanning app can record their presence at your business) are easily accessible for patrons and adequately protect private information. 
  • Ensure you have record keeping in place for your own staff as well.  This might be in the form of your roster system or the use of access card records, or you many choose to implement an alternative.
  • Get creative with implementing systems to encourage suitable physical distancing. Look at how the layout of your premises can be adjusted to best facilitate this.

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3 Comments
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@ Morepork

Posted on 06-09-2021 22:05 | By

Well said. It is very definitely past time to get serious. The book needs to be thrown and it needs to be the hard copy version. Way past time for this educating excuse for serious action. I believe lockdown is working well but we don’t want to be jumping in and out of it. United we stand, divided we fall.

Playtime is over; time to get serious.

Posted on 06-09-2021 14:56 | By morepork

"...businesses can expect WorkSafe to consider enforcement..." Nah, don’t waste time considering; they know the score and if they are deliberately flouting the Law, then kick their arses. Most of us are out of patience with people who are making the current conditions even more annoying and inconvenient; the Delta variant is not "considering" infecting us, and wrecking all the effort to date.

How many?

Posted on 06-09-2021 13:15 | By

When is the government going to admit that their strategy is wrong, the "cure" is worse than covid itself, the scare tactics have worn thin, and we are better off without these clowns who masquerade as politicians. Hey Jacinda....how many Covid deaths under the average age expectancy this year? 100,000? 10,000? 1000? 100? 10? 1? Come on, tell us.