Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Education and Skills

Covid-19 Pandemic

Photo of Mary Lou McDonaldMary Lou McDonald (Dublin Central, Sinn Fein)
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153. To ask the Minister for Education and Skills when he will publish a return to work safely protocol for builders, plumbers and electricians who work in domestic homes; and if he will confirm within which phase of the Roadmap for Reopening Society and Business these specific employers and employees can return to return to work in domestic homes. [6850/20]

Photo of Joe McHughJoe McHugh (Donegal, Fine Gael)
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The Return to Work Safely Protocol was published on 9 May 2020 by the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation and queries in regard to its application to any particular sector are appropriate to her Department.

In regard to the education sector, there were circa 200 projects on site in early 2020 and in accordance with public health advice, work on projects ceased in March 2020. In line with Government roadmap published on the 1st May 2020, the construction sector has been re-mobilising from May 18th.

In general construction sites are opening up on a phased basis, the following sequence of events being typical:

- Staff briefings in relation to Covid 19 duties

- Thorough walk of the site by site management and safety representatives

- Analysis of works operations, element by element, to ensure that works can be carried out in accordance with public health requirements

- Installation of enhanced welfare facilities (toilets, canteen facilities, drying facilities, sanitising stations, etc.) and arrangement of enhanced cleaning regime

- Installation of Covid related signage, ground markings, etc.

- Setting up induction process for all returning staff

- Engagement with sub-contractors

- Engagement with suppliers of materials

- Gradual return of staff building up over a period of weeks to full staff main contractor and sub-contractor cohorts.

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