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Driving instructors warn of COVID-19 risks in absence of sector-specific safety protocols

By unitetheunion

Unite logo white out of red

Potential 20,000 daily personal interactions in sector

July 12th: Unite, which represents driving instructors throughout Ireland, today (Sunday) warned that both instructors and learners could be at risk unless rigorous safety protocols are developed which take account of conditions specific to the sector.Β Β The union has written to Transport Minister Eamon Ryan highlighting instructors’ concerns, pointing out that they were not consulted prior to being included in Phase 3 of the re-opening β€˜roadmap’, and asking the Minister to facilitate engagement between all stakeholders in order to develop sector-specific safety protocols.

Commenting, Unite Regional Officer Jean O’Dowd said:

β€œThe COVID-19 pandemic and the need for social distancing have focused attention on the challenges faced by different sectors in keeping those providing and using services safe.

β€œDriving instructors face particular issues given that their work is carried out within the small enclosed space of a car, and involves close interaction with learners.Β Β Our members estimate that there could be up to 20,000 personal interactions in the sector every day.Β Β Both the confined space and the close interaction pose an obvious risk for both instructors and users.

β€œUnite has written to Minister Eamon Ryan highlighting these issues and asking him to facilitate engagement between all stakeholders in the sector to develop safety protocols which will keep everyone safe and ensure that the sector does not contribute to spreading the virus.

β€œWe are now at a critical juncture in our management of this emergency, and workers must be fully involved in developing safe working practices to protect all of us”, Ms O’Dowd concluded.

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