Following the Christmas break, on 04 January, all Murphy International staff and workers returning to sites, depots and offices underwent rapid antigen testing, with a second round of testing completed on the week starting 14 January. This was to ensure that all of its employees are further safeguarded from Covid-19 and were given extra security in their working environments.
The rapid antigen test kits were provided with instructions to employees in workplace car parks before they entered sites, depots or offices. Then employees carried out the tests in their vehicles. They were asked to stay in their vehicles, inform Murphy supervisors when their test is completed and show them the result. In the event of a positive result, the individual would have been asked to go home, and a PCR test would have been arranged for them.
The rapid antigen test process takes approximately 20 minutes in total, allowing time to perform the test and 15 minutes for the result to develop. The January tests were performed in order to give Murphy staff and workers additional control measures specifically to deal with any exposures resulting from the Christmas and new year holiday period, and Murphy will now continue testing at regular intervals.
A proactive approach
John G Murphy, Managing Director, Murphy International Ltd, said that from the start of the pandemic Murphy International took a proactive approach by introducing comprehensive protective measures.
“Murphy International has been extremely proactive in implementing health and safety measures to deal with the threat posed by Covid-19,” John Murphy explained. “When Covid first hit Ireland back in March, we moved to bring in masks and visors at work, long before they were made mandatory. We have temperature checks at all entrances to projects and office buildings. We no longer allow office sharing, and where employees can work from home they have been doing so, many since the first lockdown in March 2020. We also have strict reporting protocols in the event of an employee testing positive.
Leading the way
He continued, “The construction industry has done a great job, and much of what we have done here in Ireland has been copied abroad. In fact, you would have to say as a country we have done well, and I am proud of the way people have pulled on the green jersey, especially our doctors and nurses in what has been an extremely challenging time.”
Erring on the side of caution
Cathy Kelly, SHESQ Director, Murphy International Ltd, said that the rapid antigen testing being carried out at Murphy locations is just one of the added control measures that the company is implementing to protect its people and projects.
“ We are monitoring the situation daily and extremely cognisant of the dangers posed. From day one, we have erred on the side of caution. Anyone feeling unwell is asked not to come to work, isolate and get tested. We made it clear that we will pay employees should they need to stay away from work. It is important that all our people prioritise the health of their fellow workers. We have been really pleased by the responsible attitude that all our people have shown, and so far we have not had a single incident of Covid contracted in the workplace.”