Temperature testing to be among measures for businesses in Return to Work plan

Temperature testing to be among measures for businesses in Return to Work plan
Picture: Denis Minihane

Temperature testing and deep-cleaning are believed to be among the measures businesses re-opening will have to implement in light of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Return to Work plan is due to be launched tomorrow by Business Minister Heather Humphreys.

It is understood staff will have to report any symptoms of illness to managers while supports to help people in at-risk groups will have to be brought in.

The first of five phases on the road to re-opening the country will begin on May 18.

That date will see the return of outdoor workers, with DIY stores, garden centres and repair shops opening as well as the return to some limited sports and exercise activities.

The Return to Work Safely Protocol is the result of discussions involving the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU), employers, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the HSE and the Department of Health.

The protocol includes information for employers and workers relating to social distancing, hand hygiene, first aid, mental health, ventilation and heating.

Patricia King, General Secretary of ICTU, this evening welcomed the protocol.

Ms King said that the protocol is not discretionary and every employer has an absolute duty to adhere to the rules being put in place.

It is vital that the protocol is supported by an effective, enforcement regime and that every employer and worker plays their part in making our workplaces safe for all.

Ms King said that the price of negligence is too high.

"There can be no shortcuts or opt-outs when it comes to matters of life and death, Covid-19 does not discriminate and every worker in every sector is entitled to the protection of this protocol.

"This pandemic has impacted severely on every part of our society and economy, and this document represents an important milestone."

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