It’s clear that Covid-19 is spreading, and more and more people around the country are going to be exposed to it.
So, forestry businesses need to be ready for that. It’s time to make sure plans are in place to look after workers and to protect business continuity.
Luckily, the nature of most forestry work means these plans don’t have to be that complicated. We just need to keep doing what many people have already been doing:
• Stay home if unwell and get tested.
• Use contact tracing, preferably the COVID tracer app.
• Wash / sanitise your hands.
• Keep your distance from strangers or wear a mask if you can’t.
• Keep workplaces, vehicles and plant clean so they’ll be easier to disinfect if someone gets Covid-19.
• Where possible, keep workers in ‘bubbles’ so if someone gets sick, fewer people will be exposed and have to test and isolate.
Vaccination reduces people’s chances of getting sick, of ending up in hospital, and of passing the virus on to others. Make sure workers can access vaccination if they want to, and help them get accurate information to make up their minds (not just from Tik Tok).
Forestry isn’t covered by the government’s vaccine mandate because, generally, much of the work is done outside, people work with people they know and it’s easy to maintain distancing.
Businesses do have to think about whether they have any addition risks, though, such as workers (or their close whānau) with underlying health conditions. WorkSafe has produced guidance to help people work through these issues.
There’s a lot of ‘noise’ out there about Covid-19 and this will only increase as the virus reaches more and more towns. So, it will help to stay focused on the fundamentals – which is doing the things you can do to protect your workers, workmates, community and whānau.
We will update these resources as things progress