The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called for all "essential services" construction sites to be identified and assessed immediately to ensure they are fully compliant with health and safety guidelines and Government restrictions to combat Covid-19.

In a letter to the Construction Industry Federation's Director of Industrial Relations and Employment Services Jean Winters, Congress Industrial Officer Liam Berney also states that all "non-essential" services construction sites should be closed until they establish full compliance.

Mr Berney says that the specific measures which the Government has announced to tackle the spread of Covid-19 include restrictions on working.

He notes that where workplaces operate, they must fully comply with HSE guidelines.

In relation to construction, he says the health and safety of all workers on sites is paramount, and that full compliance with health and safety legislation, regulations and public health advice on all construction sites is crucial to this.

Mr Berney tells the CIF that all "essential services" construction sites should be identified immediately and assessed to ensure their full compliance with health and safety, including fully appropriate Personal Protective Equipment.

He goes on to say "'Non-Essential Services' construction sites should be closed until they are fully compliant in line with all of the above. A full risk assessment of all 'Non-Essential Services' construction sites, inclusive of Trade Union representatives, should be carried out over the next 24 hours and those found to be non-compliant should be closed immediately."

Mr Berney also reminds the CIF that workers should be made aware that under the Health, Safety and Welfare at Work Act 2005 they are entitled to remove themselves from any premises that represents a hazard or danger to their health and welfare, and that they cannot suffer any detriment as a result.

Mr Berney concludes by asking the CIF to confirm that it is in agreement with the Congress position.