ICTU: Employers must not cut corners in safety for essential workers during pandemic

ICTU: Employers must not cut corners in safety for essential workers during pandemic
ICTU General Secretary, Patricia King.

The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has said employers are responsible for the delivery of essential services and they must provide safe workplaces.

Seven key groups have been identified as exempt.

    Those groups are:

  • Healthcare and social care
  • Public and civil service
  • Utilities such as electricity, gas and water
  • Necessary goods, ie food and medicines
  • Financial services
  • Transport
  • Communications including journalists

A list of 16 essential service sectors has been published by the Government on gov.ie.

These include Agriculture and Fishing, Electricity, Gas and Water, Information and Communications and construction projects relevant to the Covid-19 crisis.

ICTU General Secretary, Patricia King, said those who are allowed to go to work during the coronavirus crisis must be protected.

Ms King said: "In law actually, if the employment is not safe then the staff don't have to work at an unsafe workplace, so it is really, really important that employers do not cut corners and that they do all that is required.

"If that means roster changes, staggering work times, then all of those things to ensure that those people coming to work to deliver those essential services are safe in their workplace."

    Useful information
  • The HSE have developed an information pack on how to protect yourself and others from coronavirus. Read it here
  • Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus who has been in close contact with a confirmed case in the last 14 days should isolate themselves from other people - this means going into a different, well-ventilated room alone, with a phone; phone their GP, or emergency department;
  • GPs Out of Hours services are not in a position to order testing for patients with normal cold and flu-like symptoms. HSELive is an information line and similarly not in a position to order testing for members of the public. The public is asked to reserve 112/999 for medical emergencies at all times.
  • ALONE has launched a national support line and additional supports for older people who have concerns or are facing difficulties relating to the outbreak of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) in Ireland. The support line will be open seven days a week, 8am-8pm, by calling 0818 222 024

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