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Quality Roading and Services staff were “amped” to get back to work this morning after having their temperature taken and briefings on how to work safely during New Zealand’s level 3 lockdown.
“Our start up procedure began with everyone having their temperature taken as they entered the main gate,” says chief executive Nigel Pollock.
“While screening employees’ temperatures does not completely mitigate the risk of spreading disease it is just one of the new working conditions we find ourselves adopting while in this level 3 alert period.”
Mr Pollock says more than 80 employees returned at 7am this morning and were inducted in groups of 10 into the new way of working. He says they were pleased to be back at work, “amped” even, and appear to have brought with them a mature and responsible attitude for the return to work.
“We have a COVID-19 control plan in place with appropriate health and safety and physical distancing measures.”
During lockdown staff were paid the wage subsidy topped up by QRS to 80 percent of their usual income.
A handful of staff have chosen not to return to work under the level 3 lockdown and QRS continues to liaise with each of them on a return-to-work plan. Another five office staff are working from home on a roster basis.
Mr Pollock acknowledges there will be some additional time and costs added to existing infrastructure and civil construction projects. As an example, the number of vehicles transporting staff to each worksite has had to increase to meet social distancing requirements.
Despite this, QRS is set to thrive.
“We are still working through some processes related to the safe operation of some machines but in general QRS’s productivity will be similar if not higher than it was before the lockdown.”
QRS continues to supply project management, staff and subcontractors for the Safe Roads and Boost state highway improvement contracts with NZTA. QRS is also working on two roading projects in Mahia worth a combined $8 million and paid for by the provincial growth fund.
QRS continues to supply routine road maintenance as part of its contract with Wairoa District Council, adds Mr Pollock.
“The future looks exciting too with projects that Wairoa District Council has applied to have brought forward under the government's multi-billion-dollar stimulus package.”
Mr Pollock says the company needs to add another 9-10 staff to its payroll and is now actively looking for new workers in the areas of contract management and technical capability within the civil sector.
“We offer on-the-job training and other educational opportunities. Roading and infrastructure are industries that are profitable, prosperous and thriving. There has never been a better time to get involved.”
28 April 2020
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