As health and safety professionals, our organisations are relying on us to help effectively manage the risk of COVID-19 in workplace environments - and, right now, often the health, safety and wellbeing of employees in home-working environments too. It is vital that we gather our information from trusted sources that will be updated regularly as this quickly-changing pandemic situation develops. This webpage is designed to help you do just that.
New Zealand Government
Ministry of Health
- MoH COVID-19
- Resources for health professionals
- Advice for travellers arriving in NZ
- Advice for airline crew
- Information for aged care providers
- Resources for the border sector
- General cleaning information COVID-19
- Information for hotels and hotel staff
- Advice for public events and mass gatherings
- Information in other languages
- Resources posters
World Health Organization
"Although for most people COVID-19 causes only mild illness, it can make some people very ill. More rarely, the disease can be fatal. Older people, and those with pre-existing medical conditions (such as high blood pressure, heart problems or diabetes) appear to be more vulnerable." WHO
- How Companies can Reshape Results & Plan for a COVID-19 Recovery (EY)
- Update for Businesses: Wage Subsidy (Deloitte)
- Alert level 4 - WorkSafe's response (WorkSafe)
- 2020 Working From Home Guide During COVID-19 (Govt Health & Safety Lead)
- Real-time Resilience Strategies for Coping with Coronavirus (NZ Institute for Wellbeing and Resilience)
- Preventing Transmission in Healthcare Workers (Singapore learnings - Journal pre-proof)
- NZISM Q&A: 'Managing COVID-19 in the Workplace' (recorded live)
Mike Cosman (NZISM Board Chair) puts members' urgent questions to Specialist Occupational Physician, Dr Simon Ryder-Lewis. Informative and practical, this is a recommended view.
- MyOSH Live Webinar 'COVID-19 Reporting Module'
Tips and Tricks
There is a lot of advice in the media at the moment, but keeping things at their most simple is sometimes the best approach. We have recently seen the below information, which is good practical advice to follow:
If you are feeling at all unwell, or you have risk factors, then stay home and seek appropriate medical advice.
If people are concerned about the impact on their leave or the expense of staying at home, be open with them and ensure they know you are there to talk these things through.
Here are a few tips the Prime Minister has shared. They are eminently sensible, and we should all be doing this.
- Wash your hands
- If you sneeze, do it into your elbow (not your hands)
- Wash your hands
- Stop handshakes, hugs and hongis. Maybe switch to the East Coast wave instead
It’s important to emphasise to your people that it’s ok to not be ok. It’s essential to be open.
Ensuring that you keep an open, honest and communicative staff culture (even if working remotely) is critical.
If you are feeling stressed or concerned, and need an outlet, don’t forget about our peer support network.
The other thing to consider is that while people may be ok to work from their kitchen table for a couple of days, that’s not tenable for more extended periods.
So think about ergonomic factors such as chairs, keyboards and screens and order these now.
Meeting with external parties
Where possible try to ensure all meetings with external parties should be via video collaboration tools, then we need to ensure that we manage our risk factors. We should be checking that:
- The person isn’t unwell
- They don’t have risk factors (eg. exposure to a sick individual, recent overseas travel)
And of course ensuring that we continue with good hygiene, avoiding handshakes, hugs and hongis and maintaining a safe distance.
Video and collaboration tools
At NZISM we use Zoom, which is free for smaller team meetings under 40 minutes. However there are a range of options available:
- Microsoft Teams (individual chats, team chats, and one-to-one video calls)
- Trello (for tasks and workflows)
- GoToMeeting (for group video calls where we may need to share screens or record)
- GoToWebinar (for large scale presentations)
- WhereBy. Its basic plan is free, and you don’t need to download any software as it works in your browser (you do need to have Google Chrome).
If you are creating policies and procedures that you believe other health and safety professionals and practitioners would benefit from reviewing, please feel free to share these on our social pages, or email email@example.com to get this information out to members via our newsletter.