Employers are being urged to mitigate the Covid-19 risks of the planned return to work to avoid further operational downtime.
Safe Team lead consultant, Paul McLaughlin, has warned that the reintroduction to working life following the lockdown “needs to be risk assessed, and adequate controls need to be implemented to mitigate the risk of Covid-19 before employees return to a safe working environment, a legal obligation for all employers”.
“Organisations that fail to properly plan for the safe return to work, risk contributing to a further outbreak and further delay back to normal operations. There are steps that can easily be taken to maximise the safety of people and promote healthy operations in businesses as they return from the lockdown”.
“Employers have a general duty to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety of all employees, and to provide a safe working environment. It’s alarming that despite the obvious risks, only 10% of executives recently surveyed have done ‘extensive’ planning in preparation for the return to work, as advised by the Government,” he added.
The ‘Return to Work Safety Protocol’ is the result of a collaborative effort by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the Health Services Executive (HSE), the Department of Health and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation.
This protocol consists of guidelines for employers, and is designed to support employers and workers to ensure that control measures introduced will prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace, as the economy begins to slowly reopen.
Mr McLaughlin advised: “The protocol should be used by all workplaces to modify their practices and procedures and comply fully with the Covid-19 related public health protection measures.
“Employers must designate a Covid-19 responsible person, and understand the emergency response procedure if an employee becomes ill with Covid-19. A risk assessment on the premises must be completed, employers should train their staff, update control measures and safety statements in relation to Covid-19”.
To assist with this, Safe Team has created a Covid-19 response package.
Safe Team’s Health and Safety Covid-19 return to work package includes:
- Risk assessment.
- Safety Statement update with Covid-19 information.
- Covid-19 policy.
- One-to-one health and safety bespoke consultation via video conference at a time of your choosing.
- Employee training for up to 100 employees via Zoom (for additional employees please contact us for a quotation).
The total cost is €950 or £850 excluding VAT. Safe Team or HR Team retained clients will benefit from a 10% discount.