Senator Higgins joins Oireachtas colleagues in calling for more effective health and safety protocols

Alice Mary Higgins 01 Green
Alice Mary Higgins 01 Green

As we enter Phase One and the reopening of certain sectors, the safety of society and workers has to remain paramount. I have joined  Joan Collins T.D, Senator Lynn Ruane and number of other Oireachtas colleagues, in supporting proposals put forward by Unite and other unions to ensure that health and safety protocols in the workplace are effective and enforced and that that trade unions have an active role in monitoring worker safety. 

We called on the Government to update the Return to Work Safety Protocol document and give inspectors the resources to conduct unannounced health and safety inspections of sites and issue on the spot fines. I have personally highlighted the need for more robust inspections on building sites where, as we heard in the Employment and Social Protection Committee last year, there is an excessive reliance on false or pressured ‘self-employment'. 

 

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The Senator, herself from Galway, noted that “we are fortunate to have a number of companies based in the west of Ireland who produce equipment which could play a crucial role in response to Covid-19. Medtronic are global leaders in the manufacture of ventilators. Aerogan are a local company who produce nebulisers and Aquila Bioscience, a company that works with NUI Galway, have developed a new anti-viral cleaning wipe."