A few confirmed cases for COVID-19 were reported for construction in July/August 2020. The CIF engaged with the Health Services Executive (HSE) and others to ascertain any shared learnings for the broader sector.
- Employers must reinforce the messaging for all persons not to attend work if displaying COVID-19 Symptoms and to ensure workers are aware that the GP consultation and test are free of charge.
- Largest contributor to COVID-19 cases has involved persons living together. Where possible, try to keep workers living together in same working groups.
- Discourage car-pooling if workers are not living together.
- It is suggested to consider ‘COVID-19 Champions’ for different nationalities. Ensure signage / information on COVID-19 protective measures is provided in languages appropriate to the workers, using resources provided: HSE’s COVID-19 translated resources
- Refer to the HSE Public Health Advice for Construction Sector in the event of a suspected or confirmed case for COVID-19.
- Undertake a practice / simulation exercise of actions required in the event of a COVID-19 case. This way, all personnel are aware of what to do in the event of a real case arising.
- Employers should promote the HSE’s COVID Tracker app: for Apple / for Android and request workers to download.
- All shared IT and other equipment (e.g. mouse, keyboard, phones, remote controls, tables etc.) to be cleaned after each use.
- The HSE indicated a preference for use of public testing facilities, advising that they may not support self-testing for COVID-19.
What To Do – Confirmed Case for COVID-19?
If a line manager is informed that a worker has tested positive for COVID-19:
- Reassure workers that all close contacts will be contacted by Public Health officials.
- If any workers at the site are displaying symptoms of COVID-19 they should be advised to self-isolate and to contact their GP to arrange testing. However testing of asymptomatic co-workers is not required unless they have been identified as close contacts by Public Health.
- It is not necessary to close a site or part of a site in response to an isolated case of COVID-19 unless it is not possible to continue operating or if directed by Public Health.
- The line manager should expect to receive a call from the Public Health contact tracing team if their work place is deemed to have been exposed to the case during their infectious period.