27th March 2020
€2,500 support for businesses to implement workplace preventative and recovery measures
- Practical business guidance on physical distancing, home working, staggered work and what to do if an employee is symptomatic
- NSAI helpline (01 8073800) and health and safety advisors available to support businesses improve Covid-19 related prevention and recovery measures in the workplace
- €2,500 consultancy vouchers for workplace improvement measures available from Local Enterprise Offices, Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta
The National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) has today published a ‘Workplace Protection and Improvement Guide’ outlining preventative measures businesses can take to prevent the spread of Coronavirus. The Government, in welcoming this guidance, has reaffirmed its commitment to assisting businesses operate whilst rigorously adhering to public health measures.
Launching the ‘Workplace Protection and Improvement Guide’, which was prepared by the agencies of the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation, the NSAI, the Health and Safety Authority, Enterprise Ireland and IDA Ireland, with support from the HSE, the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, said:
Businesses across the country have already taken significant steps to safeguard against the spread of coronavirus. I would urge them to continue that work. The best way to ensure that firms can keep operating is to rigorously implement the public health guidelines on physical distancing and minimise the risk of spreading infection. Similarly, I would encourage all employees to make themselves aware of the expert advice and strictly adhere to it. Implementing best practice – particularly around physical distancing, remote and home working, cleaning and shift-work and overall hygiene measures – can help limit the impact of the virus on employees and business continuity. The NSAI guidance document will be a significant resource for firms and their employees.”
The new NSAI helpline and the €2,500 consultancy supports available through Enterprise Ireland, IDA Ireland, Údarás na Gaeltachta and the Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) will enable firms to the identify and implement the measures needed to ensure they can continue to operate safely to provide necessary and essential goods and services for all.
The Minister highlighted a range of good practices and process changes that are being implemented by firms to protect their people, their premises and the general public so they can continue to operate safely. These include measures such as use of gloves for common equipment, cleaning between shifts, floor markings to ensure distance, use of perspex at counters, strict processes for deliveries to minimise contact, adjusting factory and office layouts to ensure distance and staggering of shifts and using remote handovers between shifts.
The Minister continued:
Our absolute priority, as we battle Covid-19, is protecting the health and well-being of everyone in Ireland. We are working with business and worker representatives to achieve our public health objectives and sustain jobs. I want to reassure businesses and workers that Government and its agencies are committed to supporting businesses as best we can to rigorously implement the essential physical distancing and workplace preventative measures and to continue to operate”
The Minister also said:
I welcome the close engagement of the HSE with the business sector and in providing a range of guidance notices to employers and employees over recent weeks. It is essential that businesses in all sectors do everything possible to prevent the spread of the virus and to help mitigate its impact. Businesses can pro-actively manage these risks by implementing the measures set out in this new ‘Workplace Protection and Improvement Guide’”.
The Minister concluded:
We value the contribution that every firm and worker make to our economy. We are committed to doing all we can collectively to ensure that enterprises rigorously implementing the guidance on physical distancing and taking actions to minimise the risk of spreading the virus, can continue to operate.”
The NSAI Helpline contact details are +353 1 807 3800, or contact COVIDfirstname.lastname@example.org
Training and Consultancy Supports
To support the implementation of the Guidelines, a panel of consultancy and training support has been established. This panel consists of a range of experienced national and international consultants targeted to help companies manage their businesses through this pandemic.
IDA Ireland, Enterprise Ireland and Údarás na Gaeltachta are making a consultancy grant of up to €2,500 available for clients to access this panel of support via the Lean Business Offer. The enterprise agencies will also facilitate connections and assist with sourcing locally for materials and services to help with supply chain management. Details of how to access the range of supports will be made available shortly on www.idaireland.com and www.enterprise-ireland.com.
The Local Enterprise Offices (LEOs) €2,500 Business Continuity Voucher will be also available for Workplace Protection and Improvement and it provides support to firms and sole traders who need assistance with business continuity and preparedness arising from the COVID-19 outbreak.
Details of other business supports available from the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation can be found at dbei.gov.ie.
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