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Work Safely

The Work Safely Protocol is applicable to all sectors. It sets out the measures required in every place of work to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and to facilitate the re-opening of workplaces following temporary closures and the ongoing safe operation of those workplaces.

The Protocol also contains links directing employers and employees to a range of Government Departments and Agencies where additional and more detailed information and guidance can be sourced.

Work Safely infographic with HSA inspection figures

The HSA has undertaken 11,431 COVID -19 related inspections.

  • 91% of workplaces had COVID-19 measures in place.
  • 81% of workplaces had COVID-19 Response plans in place.
  • 78% of workplaces had a Lead Worker Representative. 

There were over 510,500 downloads of the HSA work safety checklists and templates.

Total state protocol inspections are 44,722.

Latest figures are from 18 May 2020 to 1 October 2021.

Inspections checking adherence with the COVID-19 Work Safely Protocol have been carried out by various State Organisations as part of their normal duties.

The Inspectorates carrying out adherence checks are:

  • Health and Safety Authority
  • Workplace Relations Commission
  • Environmental Health Service
  • Sea Fisheries Protection Authority
  • Tusla Child and Family Agency
  • Department of Education
  • Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine


On a regular basis all employers and business managers should review compliance with the Work Safely Protocol to ensure all measures to prevent COVID-19 transmission remain in place.

Basic public health measures are outlined in the Protocol, ensuring social distancing of staff, wearing of masks when this is not possible, preventing gatherings at lunch and breaktimes, bathrooms stocked and hand sanitiser available to promote good hygiene are all key measures.

If considering a phased and staggered return to the workplace over coming weeks employers and business managers should familiarise themselves with the Protocol which now includes the new Guidance from the LEEF consultative group. Prior planning, engagement and communication between employers and workers is crucial to ensuring a safe return to the workplace.

These are some of the measures that will help you keep your workplace and your employees safe. Further measures are outlined in the Work Safely Protocol.


The Work Safely Protocol emphasises that employees should not attend work if they have any COVID-19 symptoms.

Employees should avoid any group forming at lunchtime, at breaks and in smoking areas. Continue to follow the basic Public Health advice around social distancing, wearing a mask if this is not possible, covering coughs and sneezes and keeping hands clean to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

Further advice on the measures you should take to prevent transmission of COVID-19 in your workplace and in the context of your employer introducing a phased or staggered return to work employees should familiarise themselves with the provisions of the Work Safely Protocol.

Topics: COVID-19 Supports