Minister publishes new rules for companies to comply with before re-opening

Staff at businesses that require sign-in will have to bring their own pens.

It’s part of the Return to Work protocols that have been launched by Business Minister Heather Humphreys later today.

The comprehensive document outlines the measures that companies need to implement to re-open following closure due to Covid-19.

The following requirements, among others, are included in the Protocol:

• Each workplace will appoint at least one lead worker representative, who will work with the employer to ensure that COVID19 measures are strictly adhered to in the workplace.

• Before a workplace reopens, there will be COVID-19 induction training for all workers to make sure that they are up to speed on the Public Health Advice and Guidance.

• Employers will issue a pre-return to work form for workers to complete at least 3 days in advance of the return to work.

• Employers are also required to update their safety plans before reopening, in consultation with, and with the agreement of, workers.

• The plan should include measures relevant to COVID-19, for example, social distancing, the provision of hand sanitisers, tissues and clinical waste bags, clear procedures around handwashing and respiratory etiquette, and ensuring proper ventilation on site.

• Employers will keep a log of any group work in order to facilitate contact tracing

• Employers are required to put a response plan in place, outlining details of how they will deal with a suspected case of COVID-19 in the workplace, to include a designated manager in charge.

• If a worker displays any symptoms of the virus during work hours, the designated manager must direct that person to a designated isolation area, along a designated route, all the time maintaining a 2 metre distance, and arrange for that person to remain in isolation before arranging for them to be transported home, or to a medical facility, avoiding public transport.

• The employer must also carry out a full risk assessment of the incident to see what, if any, further action needs to be taken.

• Breaks and rest periods should be organised so as to facilitate social distancing

• In settings where 2 metre separation is not possible, alternative protective measures such as installation of physical barriers/plastic sneeze guards should be put in place