The Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) wants the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) to play a central role in ensuring that workplaces are safe when the Government eases restrictions on movement in the coming weeks.
ICTU has highlighted health and safety concerns in discussions with employers’ bodies and Government representatives over how a return to work will be handled.
And, while unions are anxious to get people back to work as quickly as possible, they have insisted that coronavirus-related safeguards, as well as normal safety measures, are in place and are properly policed.
There are particular concerns that the construction industry, which is pushing hardest for a return to work, may not be fully compliant with Covid-19 measures, particularly social distancing.
Fórsa's head of the services and enterprises division Angela Kirk said the HSA would play a vital role when workplaces start to reopen.
“The union is working closely with ICTU to ensure that adequate health and safety provisions and practices are in place in all workplaces. And we are demanding that Fórsa is properly consulted if the HSA has plans to change its protocols and procedures,” she said.