The national Return to Work Safely Protocol, introduced in May, is designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. The Protocol sets out in very clear terms for employers and workers the steps that should have been taken before a workplace reopens, and as it continues to operate. It can be used in all workplaces in adapting procedures and practices to ensure compliance with the COVID-19 related public health protection measures identified as necessary by the HSE.
As with other matters relating to the health and safety of employees, the responsibility for deciding what essential work may require attendance at the workplace, and what work can be carried out at home remains with the employer, bearing in mind the public health advice that where possible employees should work remotely. In instances where employees have returned to the physical workplace the employer must ensure that the public health measures set out in the national Return to Work Safely Protocol are being adhered to.
Separately any employee can contact the Health and Safety Authority’s Workplace Contact Unit (WCU) for detailed advice relating to the national Return to Work Protocol. The WCU can be contacted by phone at Lo-call 1890289389 (landline) or (01) 6147000 or by email at email@example.com.
The use of public transport is subject to specific public health measures to assist in the prevention of the spread of the COVID-19 virus and it is advised that any worker using public transport to attend their place of work follow these public health advices.