Accord proposes construction vaccination protocols
Accord proposes vaccination protocols to support new vaccination assessment tool announced 23 November 2021
The Construction Sector Accord is proposing industry-developed protocols to assist employers make sound legal decisions on when they can require staff to be vaccinated. The protocols would support the vaccination assessment tool announced by the government today.
Hon Michael Wood, Minister for Workplace Relations and Safety, has announced a vaccination assessment tool will be available from mid-December to help employers decide if they would require vaccination for different types of work. Minister Wood is one of the Accord Ministers.
"While the construction sector has made it plain to the government that it would prefer a vaccination mandate, the Accord has worked with industry leaders to develop a standard and protocols which will give employers more of the clarity they want on this most difficult of COVID-19 issues. We have discussed these protocols with Accord Ministers and they are supportive of the approach," said Dean Kimpton, Accord Transformation Director.
The standard and protocols include a construction-specific Vaccination Risk Assessment Tool to give more sector specific guidance assessing whether work should be undertaken by a vaccinated worker or work force.
"We note that there are various situations where construction businesses may require vaccination, for example in some circumstances under a public health order, where an occupier or client requires it under contract, or in a health or aged care facility. Where there isn’t that clarity, these protocols will support employers and staff to make decisions," said Mr Kimpton.
CHASNZ Chief Executive Chris Alderson said "The industry has worked intensely and collaboratively to develop these protocols. Workplace health and safety regulations place heavy emphasis on 'engineering controls' to be used where reasonably practicable, and vaccinations meet the definition of an engineering control in that they provide a barrier between the person and the harm. It's a very strong control supporting individuals and groups to avoid becoming seriously ill from COVID-19, and will allow construction businesses to maintain operations, protect workers and the public from the risk of serious illness."
Other potential controls in the protocols include surveillance testing, mask wearing, physical distancing on site, work bubbles, enhanced hygiene, and tracking/tracing.
The protocols include simple-to-follow decision trees and cover:
- whether specific role(s) or classes of roles should be fully vaccinated
- whether a business or business unit should be fully vaccinated
- whether a specific worksite site should only be accessed by fully vaccinated people
- They are yet to be finalised and will be released in full before the end of November.
The Construction Sector Accord thanks those who have contributed to the development of the new protocols including SiteSafe, CHASNZ, Certified Builders, Civil Contractors NZ, Downers NZ, Fletcher Building, Fletcher Living, Fulton Hogan, Hawkins, Jennian Homes, MATES in Construction, Milestone Homes, Naylor Love, Registered Master Builders, and the many other individuals from industry and government who have given their time and resource for the benefit of wider industry.