26 May 2022

Calls in Carlow for the immediate closure of non-essential building sites during Covid-19

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Carlow Carlow Carlow

Cllr Adrienne Wallace

Calls have been made in Carlow for the immediate closure of non-essential building sites during the Covid-19 crisis. 

People Before Profit's Cllr Adrienne Wallace has made the call as she hit out at the Government's decision to not shut them down.

She said: "It makes no sense that people are being told to stay indoors and not gather in groups of more than four, yet construction workers are expected to continue going into sites where adequate social distancing cannot be maintained, either on site or when travelling to and from sites.

"We have been contacted by many building workers with concrete examples showing that the protocols in relation to social distancing are not been adhered to.

"Almost 150,000 workers work in construction.

"The danger here is that not only are they susceptible to getting the virus but are also at risk of spreading it to their family members and others in the community. This is an unacceptable risk which the government is prepared to take."

She added: "It is up the Health and Safety Authority, and ultimately the Minister Regina Doherty to ensure the law is being enforced.

"PBP TD Bríd Smith has written to both demanding that all sites be inspected to ensure that the guidance from the HSE is being adhered and that workers' health is not being put at risk.

"Non-essential sites should be closed where HSE guidance is being ignored.

"At the best of times the construction industry is a dangerous place to work. 

"Workers in the industry can have little faith that at this time of crises their employers will suddenly make their health and safety a priority.

"I want to roundly condemn the Government for giving in to pressure from the CIF to keep the sites open.

"I repeat the call from Unite the Union that all non-essential construction sites should shut down immediately in the interest of public health."

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