Have you seen the updated Return to Work Safely Protocol issued by the Government last Friday?
Are you familiar with your responsibilities and obligations as an Employer or an Employee?
The Work Safely Protocol covers the measures needed to both ensure the safe operation of workplaces and the re-opening of workplaces following temporary closure due to national, local andregional restrictions.
Adherence to this Protocol will only be achieved if employers and workers have a shared responsibility to implement the measures contained in the Protocol in their place of work. A key role in each workplace is that of the Lead Worker Representative (LWR). Each workplace will appoint at least one LWR charged with ensuring that COVID-19 measures are strictly adhered to in their place of work.
The number of representatives appointed will ideally be proportionate to the number of workers. The LWR, together with the COVID-19 response management team, should support the implementation of the IPC measures identified in the Protocol. The identity of the person or persons appointed should be clearly communicated within the workplace. They should also receive the relevant and necessary training by their employer.
In this regard, Employers, in consultation with the LWR(s), must take the following steps either for the first time or as part of a need to keep their response to COVID-19 up to date.
- Keep their COVID-19 Response Plan up to date
- Implement and maintain policies and procedures for prompt identification and isolation of workers who may have symptons of COVID-19
- Develop, Update, Consult, Communicate and Implement Workplace Changes or Policies
- Implement the COVID-19 Infection and Control (IPC) Measures
- Hand Hygiene
- Respiratory Hygiene
- Physical Distancing
- Pre-Return to Work Measures
- Dealing with a Suspected Case of COVID-19 in the Workplace
- At Risk Workers
- Working from home
- Business Travel
- Contractors and Visitors
- Use of PPE – Personal Protective Equipment
- Customer Facing Roles
- Antigen Diagnostic Tests (ADTs) and Rapid Antigen Diagnostic Tests (RADTs)
Other Key Areas Covered in this updated Return to Work Safely Protocol include:
Workplace and Community Settings Recommendations
Occupational Health and Safety Measures and Recommendations
- Reporting Requirements if a worker contracts COVID-19
- First Aid
- Mental Health and Wellbeing
- Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC)
Advice for Employers and Workers
Information on Public Health and Occupational Health and Safety
Information on Business Continuity and Supports
If you are not familiar with your obligations, you can read the full protocol here https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/bb7fd-work-safely-protocol
If you need support in meeting any of your obligations, give us a call and we would be delighted to help you.