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What Happened?

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.


Immediate Learnings

  1. 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.
  2. Largest contributor to COVID-19 cases has involved persons living together. Where possible, try to keep workers living together in same working groups.
  3. Discourage car-pooling if workers are not living together.
  4. 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
  5. Refer to the HSE Public Health Advice for Construction Sector in the event of a suspected or confirmed case for COVID-19.
  6. 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.
  7. Employers should promote the HSE’s COVID Tracker app: for Apple / for Android and request workers to download.
  8. All shared IT and other equipment (e.g. mouse, keyboard, phones, remote controls, tables etc.) to be cleaned after each use.
  9. 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.

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