Work Safely Protocol

The Work Safely Protocol (attached) is the second revision of the Return to Work Safely Protocol, first published in May 2020. This revised Protocol incorporates the current advice on the Public Health measures needed to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the community and workplaces, as issued by the National Public Health Emergency Team (NPHET) and the Department of Health. The updated Work Safely Protocol provides guidance on ventilation and vaccinations as part of the range of measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 as well as information on how to approach the use of antigen testing in the workplace. Government is now urging employers and their staff to read the Protocol as it reflects the most up to date public health advice for the workplace.

The Protocol also contains links directing employers and employees to a range of Government Departments and Agencies where additional and more detailed information and guidance can be sourced.

The Protocol is a general document applicable to all sectors. It sets out the minimum public health measures required in every place of work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to facilitate the re-opening of workplaces following temporary closures and the ongoing safe operation of those workplace.

The Work Safely Protocol is the result of a collaborative effort, led by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment, and involving primarily the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), with significant input by public health from the Department of Health and the Health Services Executive (HSE).

The updating of the Protocol was also carried out in consultation with the social partner members of the Labour Employer Economic Forum (LEEF), other Government Departments who are involved with carrying out COVID-19 inspections based on the Protocol and the Department of the Taoiseach. The Protocol has been strongly supported by the social partners, who have provided significant, and practical support to workplaces in relation to the implementation of the organisational structures and measures set out in the Protocol.