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Workplaces with colds/flu/covid

  • 29-09-2022 4:13pm
    Registered Users Posts: 1,406 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    How are workplaces dealing with things going forward?

    HSE seems to be still saying to isolate with symptoms of covid. Also says covid can feel like a cold. So that to me means people with colds shouldn't be in work.

    Had someone come into work with a cold and I complained and I was dismissed because apparently they had four tests done so that's all ok to my workplace. But the HSE says you still have to isolate with symptoms and doesn't say anything about doing 2,3,4,5 or 10 tests and you're good to go on your merry way if they're all negative. They say a negative test just means it didn't detect covid and to continue isolate with symptoms.

    So how are other workplaces dealing with things? I'm not happy having to work with someone knowing that it can take a few days to get a positive test.



  • Registered Users Posts: 1,406 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    Is it a HSA issue if the workplace is deciding on ignoring HSE guidelines?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,805 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild

    Over here in England it’s all back to normal. Have one lad with Covid in at the moment, he did take one day off on Monday and sounded very rough but he’s working away again. A few sneezes and coughs around this time of year too. 25 person workplace.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 5,805 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild

    Not really practical for a lot of us. Bills to pay etc.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,406 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    Where does the HSE fit into all this? The website is clear. Isolate with symptoms. This is surely a problem for workplaces if they're allowing sick people work. Is this not a liability issue for workplaces if they are going against HSE?

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,669 ✭✭✭StupidLikeAFox

    Surely it's in the companys interest for the sick person to stay at home - why would they want a sick person infecting everyone else (covid or not)?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,805 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild

    I'm in England so things are different here. It's been back to normal for quite some time.

    But to answer your question, a person may have to work to pay their bills. The employer probably can't go too far with questioning someone about their medical situation I'd imagine?

  • Registered Users Posts: 25,259 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

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  • Registered Users Posts: 2,943 ✭✭✭xhomelezz

    Others have bills to pay as well... So one person coming in sick makes it usually miserable at work for the rest of workers as well. Since we (at my job) work most of the time outside in any kind of weather, it's a pain when because of one person the rest of us gets sick too.

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,805 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild

    None of this changes the fact that Billy might have a bill to pay. A day's pay can be the difference between keeping your head above water and not. Lofty ideals, civic mindedness and caring for others may be the best way for society to function but it does not pay a bill in the real world.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,889 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    But there are practical and cheap ways for Billy to reduce the risk to others. A high quality face mask, staying away from others as much as possible (it might not be). Where I work we are on top of each other due to the nature of the job, but our boss went out and bought high quality masks. In the few cases of Covid that effectively were missed, there was no onwards transmission. There was even a reduction over Covid in sick days overall. Now you can argue the other way that it's not good for the body not to get these immune challenges but that's outside this discussion. The truth is if Billy has to come in because his boss doesn't do sick pay ( his boss will soon legally have to), then he can reduce the risk to others with simple measures rather than coughing and spluttering all over the place.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,406 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    So does anyone know if workplaces have to follow HSE advice or can they make up their own rules?

  • Registered Users Posts: 5,805 ✭✭✭DoctorEdgeWild

    Agreed, but the question posed was about coming in or not coming in, not about mitigation. I'd agree that it's the right thing to do to protect your colleagues with measures like masks etc. where you can.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,406 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    Just wondering if I could use what's on the HSE website to management. It clearly says to isolate with symptoms which is being ignored.

  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 23,889 Mod ✭✭✭✭CramCycle

    It says you should, it is a choice. You can highlight this but if they say not their problem, not much you can do. It's silly of them to ignore as Covid aside it's a good policy but unless they are paying sick pay, many won't.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,984 ✭✭✭witchgirl26

    As far as I know the HSE is guidelines now as opposed to "you must follow this". I think it's really impractical to say that anyone with a cold should stay home - that's a bit crazy. Also you don't know what else might be going on. I suffer from sinusitis so constantly have a blocked or runny nose. If I was to stay off every time it flared, I'd never be in work. I do take steps for it & also when it flares, I do antigen tests to make sure it isn't Covid. Work are happy enough with that.

    While the HSE does say to isolate with symptoms it does also give wearing a mask as an option too so you could go that route. Realistically coming into winter, common bugs like colds will be around more & we can't have everyone isolating even if they have negative antigen tests. Even schools you can go in if you only have nasal symptoms but no other.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 25,259 ✭✭✭✭Mrs OBumble

    Am surprised that this advice hasn't been updated since February.

    It's difficult to see how society can function if people with the slightest snuffle have to isolate even after testing negative. (Even apart from the long term immunity building issue.)

  • Registered Users Posts: 23,244 ✭✭✭✭Larbre34

    The easiest thing to do with anyone who is symptomatic of any viral illness; colds, flus, gastroenteritis, Covid, anything at all, is send them home.

    At our firm, we have a simple protocol.

    Don't come in feeling ill. If you begin to feel ill during the day, leave. You will then get 3 days paid to stay at home and treat yourself with rest, nutrition and medication as necessary. You will not work from home during this time, but focus on recovering.

    That may seem like an expensive luxury to a lot of small workplaces, but, we have 27 staff in total. It's far better to have maybe 2 or 3 off sick at once and off the grid for a few days, than 8 or 10 ill and it making everyone sick over the course of a few weeks, when it really would make an impact on the work. Its far more cost effective to pay people to stay away until they are not contagious anymore.

    In any case, if the winter weather does begin to lead to hybrid Covid and Influenza outbreaks, the Government will hot hesitate to trigger circuit breakers and mandate working from home and cancel all non-essential congregation, as they should.

  • Registered Users Posts: 328 ✭✭Alex86Eire

    We can't work from home and have a few on staff sick at the moment but they usually throw on a face mask as long as they're coughing/sniffling. They're are kids sick in every class too but haven't heard of any outbreaks anywhere since going back in September.

  • Registered Users Posts: 10,138 ✭✭✭✭Flinty997

    Been a few out breaks of bad colds in our local schools which kept some of school and out of matches. No one's checking for COVID anymore.

    Our work has overall policy but local managers set the tone tbh. Some want people in regards how bad they are. We have some wfh still (probably going to lose it soon) so some managers want you in, others happy for you to work at home.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,406 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    So I decided to ask advice from the HSA about this issue. I was surprised I got a response.

    But when the government lifted restrictions, they also published the transitional protocol,a guidance for continuing to prevent the spread covid of covid 19 in the workplace. And it follows the HSE advice of isolate if symptomatic.

    I got wrong information from my supervisor which I'm not too happy about because they are allowing symptomatic people on site and it's going to happen again and again from this supervisor.

    I don't want to go to work to get sick. That is surely my right. I don't get paid sick leave as it is and I would never dream of going into work with symptoms. It's a bad thing to do and I want the same respect for my health from my workplace.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,984 ✭✭✭witchgirl26

    It's autumn, people are going to have varying level of colds. If your workplace is happy that someone had done the appropriate tests & they were negative for covid and are allowing people in with some symptoms (I'm presuming cough, sneeze type ones as opposed to temperature), then I think that's probably ok. Look yes the advice is still to isolate but businesses need to run & if they've put in protocols around tests locally & what they're willing to accept, then I'm not sure you have much of an argument with them. Again the advice on the HSE website is guidance not strict rules.

    I know my creche will even accept children in with a cough/sneeze if they've had a couple of negative tests. Society has to be able to return to a level of normality & we can't hide from every sneeze or cough. And before anything is said no I don't believe it was all overblown at the time & yes I do have all my vaccines (waiting on the 2nd booster).

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,406 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    Workplace isn't paying for time off, so if someone needs money, they can easily get a negative test and pass it off as a cold or something else. That's the problem. You can still get very sick from this even with the vaccine. Yes, businesses need to run, but it doesn't make sense to have one person coming in and infecting others (not to mention, you can test positive days after starting symptoms). Look it, it's not that hard to stay off until 48 hours until symptoms have passed (current HSE advice) compared to a positive covid test.

    And another issue, none of this has been communicated to us in work. Just one sick person came in and it was all ok according to the supervisor. As far as I was aware, the procedure was to stay at home with symptoms. But the supervisor said do a test if you want but work won't provide the tests.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,406 ✭✭✭fun loving criminal

    I have another question. If work is allowing symptomatic people, where does that leave me if I get symptoms and want to follow the HSE advice and stay at home?

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,984 ✭✭✭witchgirl26

    Yes but as I've said, lots of other things have similar symptoms and are not Covid. I am currently sitting in work with a runny nose. I have sinusitis. If I took time off until 48hrs after my symptoms are gone, I'd be out of work for the next couple of months potentially. And unpaid? Not a hope I could do this. I've done all the reasonable steps & with only one symptom & a negative test, my work are happy enough for me to be here & so are the people I work with.

    Work probably aren't communicating it out madly but rather if someone asks the question, they get the answer. We're past all the corporate policy on covid type thing at this point. Yes it's still out there & yes it can still be bad even if you are vaccinated but it has weakened over each variant. You don't know the medical history of everyone in work which could impact on whether their cold symptoms are something like sinusitis or similar or something else but their boss might.

    I never heard of any work providing the tests - they're easily available at chemists & supermarkets (& online shopping if you're concerned about going out).

    It possibly depends on your work. That would honestly have to be a question you ask them. If you tell them that you have symptoms & are not comfortable coming in, they might say that's fine but that it follows standard company sick policy (e.g. doctors cert after certain number of days absent).

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  • Registered Users Posts: 9,854 ✭✭✭greenspurs

    Remember when people used to get winter colds ?

    the 'change in the weather' ... 'back to school' coughs/sneezes ?

    No, now the paranoid think/want everything to be covid....

    MOVE ON !!!