COVID19 Assessment Tools

COVID 19 Tools for Employers.

Completing the risk assessment tool for Covid 19

When completing the risk assessment, you:

You must complete it with employees and their representatives.

There are likely to be other questions specific to your work that you should also ask. Discuss these questions with your employees. Think about what the work tasks look like for a typical day or week. Identify the risk rating indicated alongside each risk factor. Where a situation is not black and white, a judgement call will need to be made. As the employer you should weigh these up objectively.

Apply this assessment tool for Covid 19 vaccination requirements.

FactorLower riskHigher risk
Does the worker work in an indoor space that is less than 100m2?NoYes
Is it unreasonable for the worker to maintain 1 metre physical distancing from other people?NoYes
Is the worker in close proximity to any other person for more than 15 minutes?NoYes
Does the worker provide services to people who are vulnerable to COVID-19?NoYes

Record your results.

The vaccination assessment tool consists of four factors. You will need to answer ‘yes’ to at least three factors before it would be reasonable to require vaccination for workers who carry out that work.

When applying the tool to a particular role or job, you need to think about all of the tasks involved in that role, including those that aren’t performed on a daily basis.

If a worker doesn’t want to be vaccinated, but the tool indicates it is reasonable to require vaccination for their work, or part of their role, then you must comply with your employment law obligations, eg act in good faith and consider any reasonable alternative employment arrangements or redeployment, or other measures that may minimise risk.

How do I apply the factors in the tool?

Environment factor

What is the definition of an internal area?

An internal area means an area within a workplace that, when all its doors, windows, and other closeable openings are closed, is completely or substantially enclosed by—a ceiling, roof, or similar overhead surface; and walls, sides, screens, or other similar surfaces; and those closeable openings.

How do I calculate the size of an area I work in?

You can use a measuring device or pace out the space to get an estimate of how big it is.

Alternatively, you could ask the property owner of your business premises for relevant documentation to specify the size of your indoor space.

What if I work outside? If you work outside then you will be at lower risk, ie you will get a ‘no’ answer.

If I meet with colleagues in smaller meeting rooms, does this count when assessing the environment factor?

Yes. When applying the tool, a business will need to consider all aspects of a person’s work.

Physical distancing factor

What is meant by being able to maintain physical distancing from other people?

In some workplaces, it can be considered reasonable for workers to maintain physical distancing of 1 metre even if they do not always choose to do so. In this situation, the lower risk indicator would apply, ie the answer would be ‘no’.

In other workplaces, it may not be reasonable for workers to maintain physical distancing of 1 metre and workers may have no choice but to be in closer proximity (ie less than 1 metre) with other people from time to time. In this situation, the higher risk indicator would apply, ie the answer would be ‘yes’.

Time factor

What if I do come within close proximity of another person during the day but it’s for less than 15 minutes?

Under this factor, close proximity is defined as being within a metre of another person when carrying out work.

The indicator relates to contact with anyone person continuously for 15 minutes, so if someone spent more than 15 minutes alongside someone else then they would meet the threshold. It is not cumulative for working in close proximity with a number of people over a day.

This factor applies each time you interact with another person.

Vulnerability factor

What does “vulnerable to COVID-19” mean?

In the tool the factor relating to people who are vulnerable to COVID-19 is defined as workers who provide services to people who are:

under the minimum age to be vaccinated;

exempt from being vaccinated under a COVID-19 order (for example being medically exempt from being vaccinated); or

at risk of severe illness from COVID-19.

The Unite Against COVID-19 website has a section that sets out who is at higher risk of severe illness if they contract COVID-19 and the definition of vulnerable people is based on this definition.

COVID-19 higher risk people(external link) — Ministry of Health

How do I know if people are vulnerable to COVID-19?

A business will need to determine whether any of their workers provide services to other people who the business considers are vulnerable to COVID-19.

A worker who provides a service in a public-facing job may be more likely to come into contact with people who are vulnerable to COVID-19. However, this needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

This factor applies where there are in-person interactions with members of the public (not including your co-workers).

Consider other controls. Identify any further infectious disease controls you and your employees could put in place to reduce the risk.

Assess the results of your risk factor discussion and the impact of any extra controls you will implement.

If your risk ratings tend toward higher risk and you are not able to reduce that risk by implementing more controls, you and your employees should consider whether the work should be performed by a vaccinated employee. You can then start requiring your employee to be vaccinated and apply a process for this requirement.

Previous risk assessments

If you had already done a health and safety risk assessment before the vaccination assessment tool was introduced, you don’t need to do a new assessment.

Vaccination assessment tool

Download Cover letter for Employees

Vaccine Policy