Return to Work Safely Protocol

The Return to Work Safely Protocol is designed to support employers and workers to put measures in place that will prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, when the economy begins to slowly open up, following the temporary closure of most businesses during the worst phase of the current pandemic.

The Protocol should be used by all workplaces to adapt their workplace procedures and practices to comply fully with the COVID-19 related public health protection measures identified as necessary by the HSE. It sets out in very clear terms for employers and workers the steps that they must take before a workplace reopens, and while it continues to operate.

A high-level consultative stakeholder forum, under the aegis of the Labour Employer Economic Forum, will be established. This forum will include membership from the various bodies with responsibility for health and safety at work and for public health more generally. The forum will allow for ongoing engagement at national level on implementation issues in light of evolving public health advice and other factors.

The Return to Work Safely Protocol, is the result of a collaborative effort by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), the Health Services Executive (HSE) and the Department of Health and the Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation. 

Return to Work Safely online courses, templates and checklists

The HSA Return to Work Safely online courses includes a course to help understand the requirements under the Return to Work Safely Protocol and a course for those appointed Lead Worker Representative. 

The HSA COVID-19 templates and checklists, based on the Protocol, have been prepared to help employers, business owners and managers to get their business up and running again and to inform workers about what they need to do to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace.


This guidance document has been prepared to assist in providing the necessary clarification to employers (and their representatives) where the measures set out in the Return to Work Safely Protocol may result in the processing of personal data.

Topics: COVID-19 Supports, Workplace Health and Safety

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