On 9th May 2020, guidelines were released to help companies return to work during the Coronavirus pandemic. The Government Of Ireland has put together the Return to Work Safely Protocol which is COVID-19 Specific National Protocol for Employers and Workers. This Protocol is designed to support both employers and workers to put specific measures in place to help prevent the spread of Coronavirus in the workplace.
The Return to Work Safely Protocol was created collaboratively by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the Health Services Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health. While this Protocol is a comprehensive document applicable to all industry sectors and may also change, it is advised that all employers familiarise themselves with it for when the economy begins to slowly open up again following the temporary closure of most businesses.
To help any employers and workers understand what the Protocol is asking of them, our team at Phoenix STS have summarised some of the crucial points mentioned throughout the Return to Work Safely Protocol.
Employers are required to amend their Safety Statement, put in place a Return to Work Protocol, and Risk Assess how the procedures set out in the Return to Work Protocol will be implemented on a day-to-day basis. If you require any help contact our office where we can assist you in maintaining a safe working environment for both your staff and customers.
Communication And A Collaborative Approach Is Key
It goes without saying that everyone needs to work together to ensure that they are protecting against the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. Employers should regularly discuss preventative measures put in place with their workers to provide them with information and clear guidance. This covers everything from signs of COVID-19 and how it spreads to cleaning routines and physical distancing.
Prevention And Control Measures Must Be Adhered To
There are many steps that employers must take, including, ensuring that workers can return to work safely, providing induction training and putting in place the necessary controls to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace. However, workers also need to ensure that all controls put in place are adhered to. It is their responsibility to ensure that they are correctly following and abiding by any new rules or regulations set in place by the employer or government body.
Hand Hygiene, Respiratory Etiquette And Physical Distancing Is So Important
These three things are essential when returning to work. Employers need to ensure that appropriate hygiene facilities are in place and that workers know how to perform hand hygiene effectively. They also need to empty bins at regular intervals and provide advice on good respiratory practice. Of course, they also need to use 2-metre separation or where this isn’t possible, put alternative protective measures in place.
Regular Cleaning Is Absolutely Essential
Employers need to ensure that the cleaning of work areas is conducted at regular intervals. They should also provide workers with essential cleaning materials to keep their own workspaces clean too, such as wipes and disinfection products. The importance of this shouldn’t be overlooked by anyone in the workplace.
Personal Protective Equipment May Be Required
Many workplaces already use PPE to address occupational health and safety risks; however, additional equipment may be required. Employers will need to check the HPSC website
regularly for updates regarding the use of recommended PPE, and if it is necessary, then they should provide this to workers. Workers should then use, clean, store and dispose of this PPE as advised.
Familiarising Yourself With The New Protocol
The summary above will give both employers and workers an idea of what they can expect when they return to work. Of course, the Return to Work Safely Protocol document goes into much more detail, and it mustn’t be just read but also abided by. It sets out unambiguous terms for both employers and workers, the steps that need to be taken before a workplace reopens and while it continues to operate going forward.
If you’re an employer and you’re doing all you can to ensure that you comply with everything mentioned in the Protocol, MANOSAN All-In-One Sanitiser may be beneficial to you. This disinfecting liquid formula can be used to sanitise your hands, PPE, clothes, fabrics and all hard surfaces including computers, keyboards, door handles and vehicle interiors. It goes without saying that this spray may be helpful when trying to maintain peak sanitary Protocols within the workplace and at home.
If you have any questions at all about the MANOSAN All-In-One Sanitation spray, please contact our team here at Phoenix STS today, we will happily answer these for you.