The Work Safely Protocol-updated May 2021

The Work Safely Protocol, published by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment is an important document for employers and employees.

A Return-to-Work Safely Protocol was first published in May 2020. This updated protocol is the second revision of the original protocol.

It provides guidance on ventilation and vaccinations, antigen testing in the workplace and sets out the measures which should be implemented in the workplace in all sectors.

You can find the full Work Safely Protocol here. It provides useful guidance regarding

  • 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
  • Cleaning
  • Personal protective equipment
  • Customer facing roles
  • Antigen diagnostic tests
  • Vaccination
  • Reporting requirements
  • First aid
  • Mental health
  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning

It also contains a list of useful contacts and links with further public health advice and information.

Implementing this Work Safely Protocol will help employers and employees ensure a safe workplace and reduce the risk of transmission of Covid-19. It should also prove useful for the employer if he finds himself defending a claim at the Workplace Relations Commission or in civil court.

At the very least the employer will be able to argue that he followed the most up to date public health advice available and thus discharged his duty of care as a responsible and reasonable employer.