Whanganui tradespeople are preparing to get back on the job as New Zealand moves into Covid-19 alert level 3.
The Master Builders Association, Government and WorkSafe have produced a guide for businesses to work under - and worksites will operate much differently under level 3.
Ron Bakker, of Allan Tong, said the business has had to make massive changes to be able to work under level 3.
Before the lockdown, the painting company had put protocols in place for cleanliness and hygiene. Those will continue but Bakker is now working on protocols for decontamination for when his staff go home from work and is trying to acquire some personal protective equipment (PPE).
Bakker has also established whether any staff are too vulnerable to return to work and will implement a manual tracing diary for contact tracing as well as staggered start times.
He said Resene ran out of paint due to people panic buying before the lockdown so they will make do with the product they have on hand, prolonging some jobs.
"We've made the decision to move forward and comply the best we can," Bakker said.
Whanganui's Stonewood Homes owner and manager Daniel O'Leary said moving into level 3 is a huge relief for staff and clients and they are pleased to get back on site to resume 11 projects.
"We will have remote inductions, PPE available as required, only essential people allowed on site, sign-in registers for trace and track and signage posted to all sites."
There will be additional sanitary measures, like wiping down all surfaces and tools with Roots Brewing sanitisers, and hand wash stations, disinfectant and Covid response plans.
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"Leaving sites we have sign-in/out registers, going home the team will need to follow necessary hygiene measures, cleaning sites and proper disposal of PPE each day."
Having a team lunch in close proximity or going down to the dairy to grab a pie will no longer be permitted.
"It's a lot to do but as our fantastic Prime Minister says, we've come so far and it's crucial we keep it up to save regression into level 4 again. Let's everyone keep it up so we can all sit down with friends and colleagues to have a drink together sooner."
Garry Gullery, of Gullery Roofing, said they are fortunate they are a family business with quite a small team.
Gullery said to limit face-to-face contact they will notify roofing clients before going to their site. Generally, one team member is on the top of the site and the other is down below which limited interaction.
The company staff will expand their bubbles from their families to their team of four to create a new bubble.
"Hygiene is the most important thing for us so learning not to share tools, things like that, but we're not really in anyone's pockets. Being a roofer we're usually on top of everything but the biggest thing is our clients and keeping them safe."
Scafit managing director David Crowley said one of their biggest challenges will be trying to operate in isolation and trying to function while keeping a 2m distance.
They will now operate in fixed teams of three who are allowed to travel in trucks together and the teams will have staggered starts.
Once the teams go onsite they have to operate under the main contractors and their guidelines but the recommendation is to operate under isolation.
All work trucks will be prepped the night before and every morning each team will go to the yard to sign in, disclosing they are fit for work, and as part of the contact traceability using EZICHEQ software on their phones.
One member of the operations team will be at the yard in the morning to oversee the teams, maintaining a 2m distance, while all other office and management staff will continue to work from home.
As part of the guidelines, WorkSafe has asked all contractors to regularly clean their tools and not share them with other team members but Crowley said for scaffolding this is quite a complication.
He said the company is now figuring out how to disinfect the scaffolding before it is on hire and before it is dismantled.
Crowley said one of the company's main concerns after such a long break is the risk of staff getting work-related injuries so they have given staff an exercise plan put together by a local physiotherapist.
"This is to ensure the team are fit for work and hopefully prevent start-up muscle injuries. Not only consequences of the productivity lost for companies trying to restart but also the mental wellbeing of the individual told to stay at home again to recover."
Crowley believes it is essential for a business that they get back and start working again.
Although the wage subsidy has been helpful, Crowley said "we've continued with 80 per cent so we have to find the cash for that balance and if we've got no income that still comes as quite a cost".
"I think the whole industry needs confidence that we can get back in and get going. I think the construction industry is built by confidence and the longer this goes on the less confidence people have and then the less houses get built."