MPI Covid19 update: Restart preparations guide

Wednesday 22 Apr 2020

This update from Te Uru Rakau update covers Preparing for Level 3 - Kia ora, We announced last week that a number of forestry sector businesses were able to begin a phased restart under Alert Level 4. This included activities such as loading and cartage of existing log stockpiles in the forest, and other points of the supply chain.

Sawmills were also allowed to start production to support the supply of domestic essential service inputs - eg, pallet material. Dispatch of goods to support essential services was also allowed.

Now as we prepare to move to Alert Level 3 on Tuesday 28 April businesses can begin to prepare to open for a wider range of forestry and wood processing services. Preparing means it is okay to go into your business premises now to do the minimum to begin preparing for Alert Level 3.

Businesses and other organisations can:
> clear, unpack and sort freight
> clean your premises, and
> rearrange your workplace for physical distancing between workers.

Regular maintenance should wait until Alert Level 3.

For the forestry industry we are also comfortable that so long as it is done safely preparation such as beginning to heat up boilers can begin with a minimum number of employees. You can also move harvesting equipment into place and start it up to ensure it is ready to operate under Alert Level 3 if it can be done safely and with the minimum number of workers. You cannot start harvesting until after we move to Alert Level 3. Employers and workers can travel to their workplace if it is in the same region where they are currently domiciled.

When we go to Alert Level 3, people can move between regions to get back to their home or place of business. Until then, because we are still at Alert Level 4, people need to stay in the region that they are in unless you meet one of the limited criteria for inter- regional travel.

Bringing employees in to help prepare - You must only ask the smallest number of workers possible to come in to help prepare, and only if you are meeting all health and safety and public health requirements for Alert Level 4.

Everyone must stay 2 metres apart, and follow appropriate hygiene measures.

Remember that Anzac Day is this weekend, and the normal Holidays Act rules apply.

What safety assurances does MPI need? - Under Alert Level 3 all businesses that are permitted to resume operations need to have a COVID-19 safety plan that sets out how they’ll operate safely.

For businesses operating as an essential service under Alert Level 4, a start up plan is not required. However, the controls they have in place need to continue once we transition to Alert Level 3. You can find more about what you need to include in your safety plan on the Worksafe website.

At Alert Level 3, businesses are not required to register - However, businesses are required to develop a safe working plan, details of which can be found here : covid-19-safety-plan.

We have also updated the MPI forestry Alert Level 3 web page to include the link to the forestry industry safe working protocols. and-response/coronavirus/covid-19-in-the-forestry-industry/forestry-during-alert-level- 3/.

Note: Under Alert Level 3, businesses do not need to register with MPI.

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