Fórsa has thrown its weight behind an Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) call to extend the powers of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) to encompass all health and safety issues related to Covid-19.
The move follows an initiative from the general secretary of the craft union Connect. Last week, Paddy Kavanagh sought clearer procedures for dealing with complaints about social distancing guidelines, as well as other Covid-19 workplace issues including hygiene practices and personal protective equipment (PPE).
Mr Kavanagh urged the Government to indicate “which body is responsible” for such complaints, adding that it should be fully resourced for the task.
The head of Fórsa’s Services and Enterprises division, Angela Kirk, welcomed ICTU’s call. “Fórsa is supportive of the development and extension of the role of the HSA during this Covid crisis,” she said.
“Our members are frontline workers, and they are key to ensuring the health and safety of workers across the economy. We support a broadening of the remit of the HSA to ensure that all available safety measures are adhered to in the midst of this pandemic.
“As we see restrictions lift, and workplaces return to a new normal, we would see a bigger role for the HSA, with our inspectors safeguarding the ongoing welfare of workers in a post-Covid world,” she added.
The Department of An Taoiseach has confirmed that the HSA, in conjunction with the HSE, is developing guidance for employers and employees.
To view the HSA’s current guidelines for employers click HERE.