Many Organisations are now returning to work and / or planning their return to the workplace.

Yesterday, the Government produced 8 sectoral based Guides to help ensure workplaces are as safe as possible. These 8 guides cover a range of different types of work. If your businesses operates more than one type of workplace, such as an office, factory and fleet of vehicles you may need to use more than one of these guides to consider what you need to do to keep people safe.

There are Guides for the following sectors:

  1. Construction / Outdoor work.
  2. Factories, Plants & Warehouses
  3. Homes
  4. Labs & Research Facilities
  5. Offices and Contact Centres
  6. Restaurants offering takeaway/delivery
  7. Shops & branches
  8. Vehicles

These Guides can be accessed HERE

Public health is devolved in Northern Ireland and on 17 April 2020, Northern Ireland published its Workplace Safety Guide entitled Working through this together: A practical Guide to making workplaces safer.’  This Guide sets out principles and practical steps for employers and employees to keep themselves and their workplaces safe. It also highlights the steps to be followed if employers and employees are concerned about safety.

The Guide can be downloaded HERE

To help your businesses decide which actions to take, you will also need to carry out an appropriate COVID-19 risk assessment. The Health and Safety Executive has published an example Covid-19 risk assessment for businesses that can be downloaded HERE

Businesses should consider both the N. Ireland Guide alongside the above relevant sectoral Guide/s above. It is also important to note that the Guides do not supersede any legal obligations relating to health and safety. Businesses must continue to comply with the existing legal obligations; the Guides contain non-statutory guidance to take into account when complying with these existing obligations.