27 Apr 2020

Building firms gear up to reopen tomorrow under alert level 3

6:50 am on 27 April 2020

Building firms are preparing to return to work tomorrow - albeit somewhat differently - as the country moves down to Covid-19 alert level 3 at 11.59pm tonight.

no caption

Building firms can return to work under alert level 3, but some sites will be less efficient than they were pre Covid-19 due to the additional health and safety requirements. Photo: 123RF

Under level 3, workers can resume on-site work, provided they have a Covid-19 control plan in place, with appropriate health and safety and physical distancing measures.

Building firm Naylor Love's chief executive, Rick Herd, said plans would be different at every work site, where each site had varying numbers of workers.

"There will be additional cost in some sites where shift work will be required or there will be separation of people which will require a lot of management," Herd said.

"Some sites will be less efficient than they would have been pre Covid-19 level 3."

Herd said workers were however looking forward to picking up their tools again after more than a month off.

"While some of us have had a break, some of us haven't," he said.

"Obviously a lot of us are in a position where we can continue to work from home but those that haven't been able to work from home, they're raring to get out there - but we've got to manage this carefully."

Herd said the lockdown meant clients could see some projects finishing later than anticipated.

"The expectation is we're all in this together and we will be taking some pain, as will our sub-contractors and as will our clients. But we hope to work through equitable deals that we can all live with without having to go through litigation or the horrible thought of adjudications or arbitrations."

Herd predicted the likelihood of that happening would be low, as people have been generally taking a "mature" and "cooperative" approach to the costs associated with Covid-19.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs