News & Thinking
Changes to standard operating procedures for essential transport and logistics businesses
Essential businesses must take steps to minimise infection risks for their workers – both to comply with Covid-19 Government requirements and existing health and safety law. That means minimising contact, physical distancing, increasing the use of cleaning and anti-bacterial products and using personal protective equipment (‘PPE’). Industry specific PPE requirements for essential workers not in the health sector have been issued by the Ministry of Health.
Anthony Harper’s health and safety team recently wrote an article entitled “COVID-19: What do essential services need to do to manage health and safety?” that helps to explain the responsibilities of employers in these industries.
When it comes to managing health and safety, the simple answer is – business as usual for most risks. WorkSafe New Zealand has been very clear that the pandemic is not an excuse for businesses to drop their standards or become blasé about risk.
The outbreak of COVID-19 has, of course, created new risks that organisations need to manage. The changing ways we are now expected to work and issues such as supply chain shortages of personal protective equipment caused by the pandemic are themselves creating new risks.
The Health and Safety at Work Act 2015 has always required organisations to identify risks to health as well as safety, and to act to eliminate or otherwise minimise these risks so far as is reasonably practicable. Nothing has changed for essential services, and expectations in relation to the risks associated with COVID-19 are no different.
To read the article in full click here.
Vehicle compliance requirements relaxed
Following guidance on the topic issued by the Ministry of Transport on 27 March, the Government has now confirmed a temporary extension of expired vehicle certifications in recognition of lockdown restrictions.
All driver licences, WoFs, CoFs, and some vehicle certifications (including the requirement to display a valid vehicle licence (rego)) that expired on or after 1 January 2020 will be valid for up to six months from 10 April 2020.
Endorsements for driver licences that expired on or after 1 March 2020 will also be deemed valid for 6 months.
But vehicles must remain safe (e.g. it remains an offence to have tyres with less than 1.5mm tread or headlights that don’t work) and essential repairs are allowed.
NZ Transport Agency will review the six month extension and may bring the deadline forward for some classes of vehicle based on safety risks (e.g. heavy vehicle CoFs).