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Returning to work safely

Last updated: 02 June 2020 at 12.55pm

Do not return to your workplace if you:

If you are returning to work, you need to take some precautions. Follow the advice of your employer. This is to protect you from coronavirus.

Before you return to work

Before you return to work you need to:

  • complete a pre-return to work form
  • tell your employer about any circumstances related to coronavirus they should know about
  • take part in any training your employer provides

Pre-return to work form

You’ll need to complete this form at least 3 days before you return to work. This form is specific to your job and is only available from your employer.

The form is to confirm that you:

  • do not have symptoms of COVID-19
  • are not self-isolating
  • are not waiting on results of a COVID-19 test
  • have not been in contact with someone who has the virus

Protect yourself in the workplace

Do:

follow any measures put in place by your employer to maintain social distancing

wash your hands regularly and properly

follow hygiene advice when coughing or sneezing

travel to work alone

use own pens for signing in

Do not:

do not touch your eyes, mouth, or nose

do not share objects that touch your mouth, for example, bottles or cups

do not shake hands with anyone

do not have face-to-face meetings or go on business trips if possible - use phone or video conferencing instead

You may be worried about how your workplace is responding to coronavirus. If you are, contact the Health and Safety Authority's workplace contact unit. Email wcu@hsa.ie or phone 1890 289 389.

If you get symptoms at work

Tell your manager immediately. Your employer will have a process in place. Follow their guidelines and advice.

You will need to:

  • isolate immediately from other staff
  • wear a face mask if one is available
  • keep a distance of least 2 metres from others
  • phone your GP to arrange a test for coronavirus

Go home as soon as it is safe to do so. Self-isolate at home and phone your GP.

Do not use public transport of any kind to go home.

If you cannot go home immediately:

  • remain self-isolating in the building and phone your GP
  • avoid touching people, surfaces and objects
  • cover your mouth and nose with tissues when you cough or sneeze. Bin these tissues in a waste bag

People at higher risk from coronavirus

Work from home if you are at higher risk from coronavirus.

If you cannot work from home, talk to your GP or your employer. Your employer may wish to get occupational health advice. Make sure your employer prioritises social distancing measures for you where possible.

Advice for employers

Employers should follow the Return to Work Safely Protocol (PDF, 570KB, 29 pages).

These guidelines include advice on:

  • preventing the spread of coronavirus in the workplace
  • steps to reduce the risk of coronavirus
  • what to do if an employee shows symptoms of the virus

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) provides advice for employers and employees on coronavirus prevention measures in the workplace.

Check-lists and templates are available to help employers, business owners and managers prevent the spread of Covid-19 in the workplace.

Contact the HSA by email wcu@hsa.ie or phone 1890 289 389.

Water systems

Read the Environmental Health advice for managing water systems in a shutdown.

This includes advice for:

  • hotels
  • food premises
  • recreational water facilities

Organisations providing advice to employers and workers

The Health and Safety Authority - Workplace Contact Unit
Phone: 1890 289 389
Email: wcu@hsa.ie

Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation Business Support
Information on government supports for businesses and enterprises affected by coronavirus.
Phone: 01 631 2002
Email: infobusinesssupport@dbei.gov.ie
dbei.gov.ie/en/

Workplace Relations Commission (WRC)
Phone: 059 9178 990
workplacerelations.ie

National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI)
Phone: 01 807 3800
Email: COVID-19-support@nsai.ie
nsai.ie

HSELive
Phone: 1850 241850
Web chat: hse.ie/eng/hselive/

Related topics

Protect yourself and others from coronavirus

Self-isolation

When to get medical help and hospital treatment