23 Sep 2021

Tradie vaccination a process of consulting with staff, clients - construction boss

12:41 pm on 23 September 2021

Thousands of tradies in Auckland are busy getting back on the tools, albeit in a restricted capacity.

Highrise construction generic, multistory building generic, construction generic

Photo: 123RF

New Zealand's big industry players say they're sticking to strict protocols to prevent transmission on their sites.

PPE must be worn unless workers are in an isolated environment, and there's mandatory scanning in.

Naylor Love chief executive Rick Herd told Morning Report all his staff are abiding by the rules, and if workers are ever seen not adhering to Covid-19 protocols, the public should dob them in.

"I would encourage people if they see flagrant disregard for protocols in those situations they should report the breach, by all means."

He said the processes and protocols for working under level 3 are "pretty well developed".

"We had to introduce very very strict cleaning regimes on our sites, smoko shed, toilet facilities and the like, and there are the logistics of keeping people separate in the workplaces - which is not easy depending on the state of the construction."

Masks are only mandated in certain situations on the job site, he said, and when someone working and isolated they can take their mask off.

"Wearing PPE is just part of a normal construction environment, even wearing respirators and breathing apparatus is quite normal in some circumstances ... this is really just an extension of those processes."

Herd says mandatory vaccinations is a tricky subject, but he doesn't think New Zealand tradies would protest like their Melbourne counterparts have in response to Covid-19 restrictions.

"There's some legitimate reasons why people will not want vaccinations, some will have health reasons, some for religious reasons and we've got to respect that.

"What we're doing and most of the industry is looking at doing is starting a process of consultation, identifying who in your organisation is resistance to having vaccination.

"Then also it's a situation of working with our clients and some we can work with in the situations where it's not necessary to have everyone vaccinated but there will be some, like prisons, hospitals for example where 100 percent vaccination is a prerequisite."

If someone who was working on a Naylor Love site was found to have Covid-19, Herd says an investigation would take place, they would identify what went wrong and make a change to protocol as needed.

"If there was an individual at fault there would be some re-education or possibly disciplinary action."

The site would shut down if there were multiple cases on a site without an understanding of what was going on, he said.

"If we don't know where the cases are coming from ... then yes, we would shut things down."

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs