The announcement by the Prime Minister yesterday that New Zealand will enter Covid-19 Level 4 as of midnight Wednesday 25th March has significant ramifications for the New Zealand Hire Industry.
In the absence of clarification from the NZ Civil Defence, the HIANZ Board considers that some aspects of the Hire Industry should be considered an “Essential Service”, particularly when they meet the stated criteria of “Any entity involved in building and construction required immediately to maintain human health and safety at home or work”.
HIANZ strongly recommends that you consider your main business activities and determine whether you meet this requirement as an essential service. If you do not, then we strongly recommend you consider closing for the duration of the Stage 4 shutdown.
Should you decide to remain open for emergency services and the supply of essential services then we strongly recommend you consider taking the following steps:
1. Work from a closed site and offer deliveries only. Do not allow unvetted visitors onto your site. There is a risk that an unvetted customer may unknowingly introduce the virus to you and your team.
2. Before accepting an order, seek clarification from customers that they (or a family member) have not recently arrived back in New Zealand, or are unwell. You have the absolute discretion to deny the supply of equipment to customers who you may suspect as being at risk of transmitting the virus.
3. Prioritise customer requests. We strongly recommend you only supply equipment for emergency services, emergency repairs and other demands from customers that meet the criteria for essential services. PLEASE NOTE: The use of our equipment by Party hire or DIY customers with the intention of working around home or having an event does not meet the requirements of an essential service.
4. All payments should be contactless and electronic, either by direct entry of credit card numbers into the Eftpos terminal or direct payment to your account. Do not accept cash.
5. Ensure any deliveries and collections to sites observe the social distance requirements of 2 meters seperation. All deliveries should only be to designated outdoor areas.
6. Upon collection all equipment should be treated as potentially contaminated. Your team members should receive training as to how to spray the equipment with sanitiser, wear personal protective equipment (such as gloves and mask) and ensure the equipment is thoroughly washed and again sanitised after use.
The next few weeks will be a trying time for the Hire Industry and New Zealand as a whole. HIANZ will continue to provide guidelines and advice to help you through the next few weeks. These will be through regular Email updates such as this and the HIANZ website will carry information relating to Hire and information to assist you and your business.
The lockdown is designed to increase our nation’s ability to fight and stamp out the COVID-19 virus. It is important that all of us play our part in respecting the lockdown if the disease is to be defeated.
Together we can all play our part in flattening the curve.