Wednesday, 20 May 2020
Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation
599. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation the consideration given to and the measures put in place in order to prevent construction workers outside the family unit traveling by cars and vans to their workplace when the construction sector returns to work on 18 May 2020 in view of the risk of contagion from Covid-19. [6282/20]
The national “Return to Work Safely Protocol” provides a clear compliance framework for all places of work to ensure that businesses can re-open and workers can return to work safely. The Protocol was drafted in close consultation with the social partners under the auspices of the Labour and Employer Economic Forum and agreed with them.
The Protocol is a detailed guide for employers and workers and sets out the mandatory minimum requirements that need to be in place to enable a workplace to open and to remain open. The Protocol states that workers should be encouraged to travel alone if using their personal cars for work or at a maximum be accompanied by one passenger who shall be seated in adherence with physical distancing guidance.
In addition, the construction sector has developed its own detailed COVID-19 return to work plan that captured many of the measures in the Protocol. I have been assured that the CIF operating procedure report has been amended to fully reflect the occupational health and safety actions required by the Return to Work Safely Protocol. I welcome the level of detail in the CIF operating procedure document which is specific to the construction sector and covers the use of vehicles in the sector.
My expectation is that employers and workers, in line with what is set out in the Protocol, to actively and jointly take responsibility for applying the clear measures set out in the Protocol to ensure the health and safety of all concerned is protected.