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Fewest Covid breaches here

WorkSafe has praised Gisborne businesses for adhering well to Covid-19 restrictions, with this region having the fewest breaches reported in the country.

WorkSafe inspectors this month completed 508 Covid-19 remote assessments. WorkSafe also triaged 582 reports alleging Covid-19 Alert Level breaches through both its own online notifications form and as referrals from the Unite Against Covid complaints form.

As of Monday, September 13, WorkSafe confirmed there were just six Covid breaches in Gisborne reported to WorkSafe since the alert level changes on August 18, 2021.

WorkSafe national manager of planning Marcus Nalter says his team had been heartened by the cooperation from businesses when WorkSafe follows up on notifications.

“For the most part, people are wanting to do the right thing in these challenging times, and we really commend those taking the right steps. Our approach has been first and foremost about educating those we receive complaints about, and working with them to put safe systems in place to support their staff and their communities.

“Where we can't get this level of cooperation, and there are people deliberately flouting the rules and not displaying the right level of care, businesses can expect WorkSafe to consider enforcement.”

Almost half of the complaints actioned by WorkSafe were allegations of businesses opening when they potentially should not have been.

The other main issues were about mask use, physical distancing (distance between people), and overcrowding (total occupancy).

Most of the reports were about Auckland-based businesses, followed by Christchurch, Hamilton and Wellington. The region with the fewest reports of alleged breaches referred to WorkSafe was Gisborne.

WorkSafe's key reminders for businesses and the activity they would be seeking compliance on are the following:

' It is each business's responsibility to ensure they are legally able to operate under Level 4 and Level 3.

More information on this can be found at www.business.govt.nz/covid-19/operating-at-alert-levels/.

' Ensure you have alternative contact tracing systems (so that people who don't have the QR scanning app can record their presence at your business) that are easily accessible for patrons and adequately protect private information.

' Ensure you have record keeping in place for your own staff as well. This might be in the form of your roster system or the use of access card records, or you may choose to implement an alternative.

' Get creative with implementing systems to encourage suitable physical distancing. Look at how the layout of your premises can be adjusted to best facilitate this.