Logistics industry needs clarity on ‘Return to Work Safely’ protocol


The Government’s Return to Work Safely Protocol needs revising to provide consistent and clear guidance on the correct use of PPE in the logistics workplace, according to the Freight Transport Association Ireland (FTAI). Responding to the document, the business group is also urging government to provide certainty on the availability of PPE, particularly when physical distancing is not possible for some workers.

Aidan Flynn, General Manager of FTAI, commented: “While FTAI and its members welcome the publication of this document – it details the measures that all businesses must take to help ensure the safety and wellbeing of their staff, visitors and contractors – we do urge Government to provide additional clarity on the correct use of PPE and availability of the items to the logistics workforce, particularly when other safety measures, including physical distancing and frequent hand washing, are not possible for some workers. Businesses within the freight distribution and logistics sector have been working hard to ensure the free flow of essential goods and services are uninterrupted during these extraordinary times. These businesses now need certainty from the Government that their workers – particularly those unable to practice physical distancing – will have access to appropriate PPE to ensure both their safety and their ability to continue working. And, with face masks proven to be effective in combating the spread of the disease, we want the government to make clear that their use should be mandatory where physical distancing is not possible.”

“Given the profound impact that this virus is having on a global scale, it is important that both the employer and the employee take a collaborative approach in ensuring the business can operate in a safe and controlled manner; a new way of working is required and will need flexibility and a period of adjustment. At FTAI, we advise our members to undertake a careful review of the document, carry out a thorough risk assessment for their business, and identify the control measures required to reduce or remove the risk of Covid-19 infection among the workforce; these measures should be under review continuously to ensure the guidance is adhered to meticulously and safe practices remain in place.”