Covid 19 / Corona Virus

Covid 19 / Corona Virus

A new virus that has not previously been seen in humans was identified in December 2019. This virus is called Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) & the disease that it causes is called Coronavirus Disease 2019. (COVID-19)

New information is becoming available every-day as doctors, scientists & Public Health officials study the virus & how it affects people. The situation is evolving.

The outbreak of COVID-19 has evolved rapidly. The Department of Health is leading the Irish Government response to this national Public Health risk & is providing up to date information & advice daily to the members of the public.

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre is also providing advice for the public & for specific groups & settings including employers, healthcare professionals, education settings & religious organisations.

Exposure to COVID-19 may present a health risk to workers & other persons at your workplace. Employers are advised to follow the latest public health advice, to identify & implement suitable control measures to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection in the workplace. These public health measures should be communicated to all relevant employees & others at the place of work.

In workplaces where the nature of the work poses an occupational exposure health risk to COVID-19 such as healthcare & laboratory settings, employers are required to ensure that detailed Biological Agents Risk Assessments are carried out. These will need regular review & updating. They will be based on current best practice in relation to infection prevention & control. Control Measures must be communicated to all relevant employees & others at our workplace. Further information on employer duties under the Biological Agents Regulations is available on the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) website.

For other workplaces where there is no occupational exposure health risk to COVID-19, employers should take into account the most up to date official advice & guidance from the Department of Health & The Health Protection Surveillance Centre on how to mitigate the health risk to employees & others at the place of work. This should also include measures advised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for work-related travel.

Employees should follow public health official advice. This guidance includes ensuring good hygiene practices, such as frequent hand-washing & respiratory etiquette, to protect against infections & should seek professional healthcare advice if unwell. 

For more information, check out the following links;