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FAQ's will be updated in line with ongoing national guidance/ circulars.


  • Here's your Checklist for Staff prior to returning to campus. Please ensure to follow all steps in the checklist before return to campus.

     

    Checklist for Staff Returning to Work

    Staff Responsibilities

     

    Complete the COVID-19 Induction Training Programme as part of the Return to Work safely Protocol. https://moodle.wit.ie/course/view.php?id=168063  Enrolment Key: wit

     

       ☐

     

    Complete the return to work form before returning to campus: https://www.wit.ie/about_wit/our_community/campus-access

     

       ☐

     

    Maintain a Contract Tracing Log - Staff should record anyone they have been in contact with as instructions on the log. The log must be maintained by the staff member in the event that the HSE request a list of close contacts. WIT do not require copies of the contacts log. This is the responsibility of the individual staff member to maintain for the HSE/ Department of Public HealthTemplate available on the MS Teams H&S Covid-19 Documents

     

       ☐

     

    To ensure good hygiene, respiratory etiquette and general hygiene, Please familiarise yourself with Procedures for Hand Hygiene during Covid-19 and Respiratory Etiquette Protocol during Covid-19

     

       ☐

     

    Are you aware of the Employee Assistance Service?
    Employee Assistance Service is available for anyone who wishes to avail of confidential support through Spectrum.Life -  https://www.wit.ie/about_wit/for_staff/spectrum-and-employee-wellbeing

     

       ☐

     

    Risk Assessments – read through risk assessment conducted for your department and ensure you adhere to the control measures outlined in the risk assessment. Contact your Line Manager for a copy of your Department’s risk assessment.

     

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    Protocol Document – familiarise yourself with building lay-out and specific operational arrangements

     

       ☐

     

    Utilise the MS Team Staff Hub which holds supporting documentation and information regarding Covid-19 H&S Covid-19 Documents alongside the WIT FAQs https://www.wit.ie/about_wit/our_community/coronavirus-information

     

       ☐

     
  • In line with the current health advice, the wearing of face coverings is required in all indoor public spaces and teaching spaces. The wearing of face coverings may help prevent people who do not know they have COVID-19 from spreading it to others by reducing the spread of respiratory droplets.

    It is important to note that this is an additional measure to help prevent the spread of the virus and in no way replaces the existing public health advice of:

    • Washing your hands properly and often
    • Covering your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve when you cough and sneeze
    • Practicing social distancing

     

    How to wear a face covering

    It is important that face coverings are worn correctly and as such should:

    • cover the nose and go under the chin,
    • fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face,
    • be secured with ties or ear loops,
    • include at least 2 layers of fabric,
    • allow for breathing without restriction.

    The HSE have provided guidance on how to safely wear a face covering which is available on the HSE website.

    We are aware that face coverings may not be suitable for everyone and in line with public health advice you do not have to wear a face covering if you have an illness or impairment that would make wearing or removing a face covering upsetting or uncomfortable. If this is the case please let us know and we will discuss alternatives with you.

    Order your face covering

    If you require a face coverings please order here.

     For Further information regarding WIT's Covid-19 Face Covering Policy click here

  • WIT has developed and implemented a COVID-19 Response plan based on the Return to Work Safely Protocol and the Safe Return Plan for onsite Further and Higher Education and Research. This response plan sets out the steps WIT has taken in order to ensure the workplace is safe during COVID-19. The response plan is a live document with regular updates on continuing progress and can be located at H&S Covid-19 Documents

  • Please link in with your direct line manager on any queries with regards to return to campus or the risk assessments or protocols in place for your return to work.

  • All employees have a critical role in ensuring that the procedures of the Protocol are followed to suppress COVID-19 in their workplace. Cooperation between employees, the lead worker representative(s) and management are fundamental to ensuring that the measures are adhered to, including maintaining contact logs, completing induction training and answering the pre-return to work questions.

  • The Return to Work Safely Protocol requires that each workplace should appoint at least one lead worker representative who will assist employees and together with the employer be responsible for ensuring safety measures are being followed. Lead worker representatives will be clearly identifiable, and WIT will ensure they receive the necessary training to carry out the role.

    Lead worker representative(s) should

    • Work collaboratively with the employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of employees in relation to COVID-19.
    • Promote good hygiene practices such as washing hands regularly and maintaining good respiratory etiquette along with maintaining social distancing in accordance with  public health advice.
    • Assist with the implementation of measures to suppress COVID-19 in the workplace.
    • Monitor adherence to measures put in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
    • Consult with colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.
    • Make representations on behalf of their colleagues on matters relating to COVID-19 in the workplace.
  • High risk employees who are required to attend the work premises, in accordance with HSE advice, should take extra care, practice social distancing, wash your hands regularly and properly and wear a face mask. 


    WIT’s Occupational Health service will be consulted for employees in the very high risk category, or to determine if an employees’ falls into this category.  If WIT is unsure whether or not an employee falls into the very high risk category, advice may be sought from the Occupational Health Practitioners for WIT for a recommendation on reasonable accommodations.  HR is currently arranging Occupational Health Assessments for staff that have come forward with health concerns about the return to campus. Dates for such occupational assessments are being communicated through HR directly to the staff member.

  • Employees who are required to attend the workplace and who live with very high-risk individuals should follow the HSE guidelines to protect themselves and to minimise risk of transmission. The implementation of the Return to Work Safely Protocol is intended to minimize the risk of transmission in the workplace.

  • Coronavirus Circular Letter 0051/2020  Arrangements for all Public Service employees

    https://www.wit.ie/images/uploads/About_PDF/cl0051_2020.pdf

  • If you are notified by an employee that they are experiencing symptoms associated with COVID-19, please do the following: 

    • Reassure the employee that their health and safety and that of their colleagues is the primary concern.
    • Isolate the employee and follow the procedure to accompany the individual to the designated isolation area via the isolation route, keeping at least 2 metres away from the symptomatic person and also making sure that others maintain a distance of at least 2 metres from the symptomatic person at all times.
    • Provide a mask for the individual presenting with symptoms if one is available. The employee should wear the mask if in a common area with other people or while exiting the premises.
    • Facilitate the individual presenting with symptoms remaining in isolation if they cannot immediately go home and facilitate them calling their doctor. The individual should avoid touching people, surfaces and objects. Advice should be given to the person presenting with symptoms to cover their mouth and nose with the disposable tissue provided when they cough or sneeze and put the tissue in the waste bag provided.
    • Assess whether the unwell individual can immediately be directed to go home and call their doctor and continue self-isolation at home.
    • Advise the employee to isolate themselves from colleagues immediately – ideally they should return home or to hospital for medical assessment; however, where this is not immediately possible they should move to a designated private space away from colleagues until transport home can be arranged.
    • Arrange transport home or to hospital for medical assessment. Public transport of any kind should not be used.
    • Advise the employee that they must call their GP for advice. Advise the employee to call you straight away with the outcome of this advice – you should provide them with your phone number if they don’t already have it.
    • Carry out an assessment of the incident which will form part of determining follow-up actions and recovery.
    • Arrange for appropriate cleaning of the isolation area and work areas involved.
    • Ask the employee about their movements around the building in order to identify areas which may require cleaning.
    • Notify HR as soon as practically possible.
    • Contact Estates and request that the employee’s workstation and any other relevant areas be cleaned as soon as possible.
    • Await the update from the employee concerned, but do not discuss the case with other colleagues at this stage in order to protect dignity and confidentiality.
    • If the employee concerned has been advised by their GP to return to work, they should do so. You should discuss with them a suitable arrangement to ensure business continuity. Working from home should be implemented where possible. In all instances refer to the Institute’s return to work arrangements.
    • It is up to managers to discuss with the employee whether they should return immediately or the following day or work from home. If they have been advised to self-isolate, then at all times you should follow all HSE guidelines.
  • It is important to emphasise that any employee who is feeling unwell should not attend the workplace. This applies to any transmissible illness during this Covid-19 emergency period.

    If, in the course of your working day, you experience symptoms associated with COVID-19 (e.g. cough, shortness of breath, breathing difficulties, fever or chills), you should immediately:

    • Report your health concerns, preferably by telephone or email, to the HR office at http://[email protected]
    • You will be asked to isolate yourself from your colleagues in the first instance – in most circumstances this will mean going home; however, where this is not immediately possible then you should move to a designated space away from colleagues until transport home can be arranged. If possible arrange for someone in your household to collect you rather than using public transport or a taxi – this is for your own welfare as well as the welfare of others. If you must use the latter options practice good hygiene etiquette to limit any potential spread of the virus.
    • Avoid engaging in any direct contact with colleagues and practice good hygiene etiquette as you make your exit.
    • You should immediately contact your GP for further advice.
    • You must call your manager to let them know the outcome of the medical advice. This advice will inform your next steps.
    • If you are advised by your GP that you are well enough to continue working you should do so.
    • If you are required to self-isolate, you should follow all HSE guidelines and keep your manager/HR rep informed, adhering to your organisation’s procedures.
    • Before you return to work you will need to complete a self-declaration and a pre-return to work form.
    • You need to inform your employer if there are any other circumstances relating to COVID-19, not included in the form, which may need to be disclosed to allow their safe return to work.
    • You will need to participate in any induction training provided by the employer on their return to the workplace.
  • If you fall into any of the self-isolation categories as published by the HSE:

    • Telephone your manager and HR at http://[email protected] before 10am on the first day of isolation/restricting your movements to update them on the situation.
    • If you are advised to self-isolate/restrict your movements you will be required to give your manager the following information:
    • Date of commencement and number of days advised to self-isolate/restrict movements
    • Advice received from your GP, HSE, Hospital or Other (you will be required to specify what that is)
    • If you have been advised to restrict your movements as a precaution but you are well, you will be asked to work from home.
    • Please note that Public Service employees cannot claim DEASP COVID-19 illness benefit in cases where they are receiving special leave with pay. Any claim for DEASP COVID-19 illness benefit whilst on special leave with pay will be treated as a disciplinary matter.
    • You may be asked to sign a self-declaration on return to work, including written confirmation of the above details.
    • By applying for special leave with pay, you agree that in the event of non-compliance with the provisions of special leave with pay (including the requirement to provide bona fides confirmation of self-isolation/ /diagnosis/restricting your movements for COVID-19) existing procedures, including disciplinary measures may be invoked.
  • Procedure for employees

    • Telephone HR at 051 302020 or [email protected] before 10am on the first day of isolation as would normally be the case for sick leave. You will be required to notify HR of number of days you have been advised to self-isolate. You will be required to complete a self-declaration and/or provide confirmation/medical certification where available. HR will advise your line Manager on your absence. 
    • Please note that Public Service employees cannot claim DEASP COVID-19 illness benefit in cases where they are receiving special leave with pay. Any claim for DEASP COVID-19 illness benefit whilst on special leave with pay will be treated as a disciplinary matter. 
    • You must apply for special leave with pay on return to work, including providing appropriate confirmation, with certification where available. 
    • By applying for special leave with pay, you agree that in the event of non-compliance with the provisions of special leave with pay (including the requirement to provide bona fide confirmation of self-isolation for COVID-19) existing procedures, including disciplinary measures may be invoked. 

    Procedure for managers

    • Employees who are advised to self-isolate must inform HR as per sick leave requirements. 
    • HR will ask the employee to provide dates and confirmation/medical certification where possible. HR will advise the employee’s line manager of their absence. 
    • Managers should make employees aware of the need to stay in regular contact and advise the staff member of the employee assistance programme available to them. 
    • Managers should alert the employee to any follow up actions that are required on their return to work (for example, self-declaration, return to work protocols etc.). 
  • Download the Close Contact flowchart

    https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/contact-tracing/

    In all instances where COVID-19 is positively confirmed in an adult (including a student aged 18 years or over) attending an IoT or TU, either through symptomatic or close contact testing, Public Health will be immediately notified and Public Health will decide on what action, if any, needs to be taken. The Institution may also notify the HSE directly if they are notified by a lecturer or other staff member or by the on-campus health teams of a positive case. Although not strictly necessary, this additional measure is welcome in that it offers further assurance to the on-campus community. 

  • When the recommended period of self-isolation is passed, please follow medical advice and/or HSE guidelines on return to work/return to duties when working from home.

  • Any non-COVID-19 illness will be recorded as ordinary certified sick leave and the usual rules governing sick leave will apply.

  • An employee with no COVID-19 symptoms may be medically/HSE advised to restrict his/her movements for 10 days if he/she is a close contact of a confirmed case of COVID-19 or lives with someone who has Covid-19.  However if you are a close contact, fully vaccinated and do not have symptoms of COVID-19 - you may not need to restrict your movements or get a test. For the latest information:

    https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/covid19/contact-tracing/close-contact/#if-you-are-fully-vaccinated

    An employee who has been advised to restrict his/her movements and is medically fit for work, remains available for work. If remote working in an employee’s role is not feasible, then the assignment of work may be outside of their core duties.

    An employee who has been advised to restrict his/her movements must complete a Declaration Form at Appendix B and return this form immediately to [email protected], accompanied by medical certification (GP/HSE). Please contact http://[email protected] for relevant forms.

    Where medical diagnosis changes the employee must inform WIT immediately.

  • Special leave with pay should only apply when an employee is advised to self-isolate and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or had a positive test. Medical or HSE advice should be followed. Special leave with pay for COVID-19 is being used in place of sick pay. Employees are not entitled to days in lieu of bank holidays whilst in receipt of special leave with pay.

    The HSE sets out the latest criteria for self-isolation on the HSE website

    Further details on the application for special leave is available through [email protected]

  • Please contact HR at [email protected]

    Similar to the general principles applying to the management of Sick Leave, the employee must contact the HR Department where any of the circumstances apply http://ttps://www.wit.ie/images/uploads/About_PDF/cl0051_2020.pdf Where circumstances or diagnosis changes, the employee should inform the employer as soon as possible.

    The HR Department at WIT must be notified of the absence as soon as possible.

    When granting special leave with pay compliance with provisions of special leave with pay shall apply. In the event of non-compliance with the provisions of special leave with pay (including the requirement to provide bona fide confirmation of self-isolation/diagnosis of COVID-19) existing procedures, including disciplinary measures may be invoked.

    Please note that employees on special leave with pay are excluded from claiming the special DEASP COVID-19 illness benefit payment.

    Special Leave with pay for employees will be based on basic salary and fixed allowances only. This excludes premium payments.

     
     
  • There are special leave with pay arrangements that are available under specified conditions – see https://www.wit.ie/images/uploads/About_PDF/cl0051_2020.pdf issued from the Department of Education and Skills. Similar to the general principles applying to the management of sick leave, the employee must contact WIT where any of these circumstances apply. 

    Under this Circular, an employer may grant special leave with pay to an employee where appropriate HSE or medical confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis or recommendation to self-isolate or to restrict his/her movements is provided, in accordance with the HSE Guidelines
     
    Employees need to contact HR at [email protected] to apply for this leave

    An employee on special leave with pay is not permitted to claim the DEASP COVID-19 Illness Benefit payment. 

  • Appropriate medical/HSE confirmation of the need to self-isolate and/or a diagnosis of COVID-19 will be required. In the event that written confirmation is not available, the recording of medical or HSE advice to self-isolate will take the form of a self-declaration. This does not mean that employees can voluntarily choose to self-isolate. Medical/HSE advice will be required, however the reporting of same will take the form of a self-declaration. Further information is available through [email protected].

  • Any special leave with pay granted for the purpose of diagnosis of COVID-19, self-isolation or restricted movements will not be counted as part of the employee’s Sick Leave record. The special leave with pay entitlement will apply for the number of days advised by the HSE/doctor.

  • If an employee is displaying symptoms and/or has a positive test for COVID-19 then it should be recorded as special leave with pay. Special leave with pay for COVID-19 is being used in place of sick pay. As noted, special leave with pay should only apply when an employee is advised to self-isolate and is displaying symptoms of COVID-19 or had a positive test. Medical or HSE advice should be followed. Appropriate medical/HSE confirmation of the need to self-isolate and/or a diagnosis of COVID-19 will be required. In the event that written confirmation is not available, the recording of medical or HSE advice to self-isolate will take the form of a self-declaration. This does not mean that employees can voluntarily choose to self-isolate. Medical/HSE advice will be required, however the reporting of same may take the form of a self-declaration. Further details on the application for special leave is available through [email protected]

  • Under the terms and conditions of the Sick Leave Scheme, ordinary illness e.g. viral type respiratory illness will be recorded by HR on our Core System. If you are subsequently diagnosed with COVID-19, the special leave with pay can be retrospectively applied in lieu of Sick Leave through provision of medical certification.

    An employee on special leave with pay is not permitted to claim the DEASP COVID-19 Illness Benefit payment.

  • WIT may grant special leave with pay to an employee where appropriate medical or HSE confirmation of COVID-19 diagnosis or recommendation to self-isolate is provided, in accordance with the HSE Guidelines. Staff should make contact with [email protected] to apply for special leave.  

    The HSE sets out the criteria for self-isolation on the HSE webpageAn employee cannot voluntarily choose to self-isolate.

    Where HSE or medical advice is that the employee must self-isolate then special leave with pay may be granted by WIT.

    In the event that written HSE or medical confirmation to self-isolate is unavailable, an employee must complete a Self-Declaration Form to record the HSE or medical advice received. This form is available through the HR office at [email protected]. The completed form should be forwarded by the employee to WIT HR as soon as possible.

  • The HSE sets out the criteria for restricted movements on the HSE webpage.

    An employee who has been advised to restrict his/her movements is available for work. An employee cannot voluntarily choose to restrict his/her movements.

    Where medical advice is that the employee who is not ill should restrict their movements, the staff member is available for work. The employee will be assigned work and flexibility for working from home should be discussed with their direct manager over the phone/ email. Where alternative working arrangements in the employee’s current role is not feasible, then he/she may be temporarily assigned to work within the wider Public Service. See https://www.wit.ie/images/uploads/About_PDF/cl0051_2020.pdf for more details.

  • There is no special paid leave available for COVID-19 caring arrangements during this time.

    Any employee who wishes to avail of existing leave allowances during this time is entitled to have such requests considered by their line manager, as always, including parental leave, annual leave etc. 

  • Please review the Department of Foreign Affairs website at the following link for current guidance on travel abroad. General COVID-19 Travel Advisory - Department of Foreign Affairs (dfa.ie)

    Where there is an intention to undertake non-essential travel overseas, all employees must make provision by way of an annual leave or unpaid leave application for any additional period of restricted movement/hotel quarantine if applicable.

  • While there is no national restrictions relating to travel in Ireland, we are continuing to encourage the use of MS teams for meetings unless travel to a meeting is approved by your line manager. At all times staff travelling for business meetings must observe the COVID protocols in place in the host institution.

  • You should continue to work as normal. If your co-worker tests positive, the HSE contact tracers will contact you if you are identified as a close contact.  They will advise if you need to self- isolate and go for a COVID test. If you start to feel unwell please contact your GP immediately.

  • The HSE will inform any employees via the contact tracing process who have come into close contact with a diagnosed case. The HSE will contact all relevant persons where a diagnosis of COVID-19 is made. The instructions of the HSE should be followed and employee confidentiality is essential at all times. A contacts log should be maintained by each staff member on a daily basis when on campus to log details of contact with any fellow colleagues. The Contacts log can be downloaded through the following link: H&S Covid-19 Documents Employees are encouraged to download the Contact Tracing App to their mobile device as this will assist with the contact tracing process. 

    Flow chart for unwell individuals

    Case reporting flow chart

  • The HSE sets out the latest criteria for restricted movements following close contact on the HSE website.

    Special leave with pay does not apply to employees who are required to restrict their movements as a precaution as they are not ill.

    WIT must therefore facilitate working from home. If remote working in an employee’s current role is not feasible, then the assignment of work may be outside of their usual core duties. Employees must cooperate with all such flexibilities while they are restricting their movements.

    In all such cases, employees remain available for work whilst at home, where they have been advised to restrict their movements as a precautionary measure.

    This FAQ does not apply to employees who are required to restrict their movements arising from a decision to undertake non-essential travel abroad.

  • 1. Enquire about the welfare of the student and if there is anything the Institute can do to assist.

    2. Ascertain if the student is on/off campus.

    3. Recommend that they follow the guidelines from the HSE on self-isolation, https://www2.hse.ie/conditions/coronavirus/self-isolation/how-to-self-isolate.html

    4. If the student is/was on campus, contact the Health & Safety Office and/or the Institute Nurse (details below) providing the following details:

    • Title of the student’s course
    • Year of the student
    • Status of student (e.g. positive, awaiting test results
    • When the student was last on campus

    Contact details:
    Health & Safety Office, 051 845537, 051-845517. Email: [email protected]
    Institute Nurse: 051-302863. Email: [email protected]
    https://www2.hse.ie/coronavirus/
    https://www.wit.ie/coronavirus

  • It is important that you liaise directly with your manager regarding the scheduling of your annual leave for this year if you have not done so already. This will allow for managers to consider the requests in line with operational requirements for the remainder of this year.

    Staff will be allowed to carry forward a maximum of 7 days into 2022 (If working half-time that would be applied pro-rata i.e. if working half time then max 3.5 full days carry forward into 2022). Note however that we will extend the cut off period to where any leave in excess of 7 days must be taken to no later than Friday 7th January 2022.

    Four days have been taken from your annual leave balances already to allow for Christmas shutdown. Section 20(1) of the Organisation of Working Time Act provides that the times at which annual leave are granted are determined by the employer.

  • Unfortunately due to system issues outside of our control, clocking will not re-commence from next Monday 13th  for staff that would normally clock. 

    For staff that were previously on the flexi-time scheme, they may avail of this when they are back working their full pre-COVID work pattern on campus. While the clocking system is down, such staff should complete a time in lieu sheet for additional hours worked on campus with their manager sign off and forward to HR where the time will be recorded.  

  • Flexi-time arrangements in the sector were re-introduced with effect from 24 August 2020. However, this arrangement applies only in circumstances where employees are attending the employer’s work premises and are working their normal, pre-COVID work attendance patterns e.g. a staff member working on campus 5 days per week if this was your previous pattern pre Covid – 19.  

    For those employees where flexi-time remains temporarily suspended, this arrangement does not preclude WIT from using clocking in and out arrangements for monitoring purposes.  Further update on this will be provided by HR. 

  • Civil and Public Service employers are obliged to provide a safe workplace, which may include the processing of health data in order to ensure that safety. Articles 6(1)(c), Articles 9(2)(b) and (g) of GDPR, along with section 53 of the Data Protection Act, 2018 (which permits the processing of special categories of personal data for purposes of public interest in the area of public health) will likely be the most appropriate legal bases for processing this data. For further information please visit the Data Protection Commission website. 

  • It is recognised that remote working offers benefits to both employees and the Institute and that the viability of remote working has been clearly demonstrated by recent history. It is acknowledged that some staff may wish to continue to have access to remote/ hybrid working.

    In line with the President update on 3rd September 2021, the return to on-campus activities is a key pillar of the Government’s strategy for re-opening society and the Executive are requesting all staff to return back on campus for the delivery and support to our students.

    Access to remote working during this time will only be considered for very high risk staff who have been advised to cocoon at home and will be based on an occupational health assessment by our OHP.

    The longer term approach to remote/hybrid working will be considered by Executive Board in conjunction with consultation with staff representatives and informed by national and sectoral policy as this develops. A Remote/Hybrid Working policy drafted by HR has been provided to the Executive for consideration in September after which will involve information and consultation with staff and staff reps before being finalised and brought to the Governing Body for consideration. It is important to note that at sector level a national remote working policy is due to be finalised for issue in the first quarter of 2022 . Therefore any local remote/hybrid working policy approved will be updated in line with national policy in due course.

  • The Institute is promoting the use of MS teams for group meetings where possible. Any meetings held on campus must follow COVID protocols.

  • Staff travelling on public transport to and from work should wear a face covering, follow physical distancing guidelines, and wash their hands with soap and water or hand sanitiser before and after being on public transport.

     

    If using your personal car for work, staff should be accompanied by a maximum of one passenger, seated at a safe physical distance and wearing a face covering or mask in line with public health advice. We encourage staff to partially open car windows on opposite sides to improve ventilation, and not to set ventilation systems to recirculate air, which could spread the virus.

All staff must complete the COVID induction before returning to campus. This is included in Moodle - the staff member will use their normal log in for access to the induction.

Link: https://moodle.wit.ie/course/view.php?id=168063

Enrolment Key: wit

Fulltime return to work on campus

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19 in the workplace, every worker must complete and sign the return to campus form before returning to work on campus.

The return to work access form is one of the measures designed to assist with the safe return to the workplace following the COVID-19 lockdown.

Staff returning to the workplace are required to complete the return to work form. Access to the relevant form can be found at

Covid-19 Return to Campus Form


Ad hoc access to campus

This form is for contractors, visitors and ad-hoc access for staff and students. To do this, please follow these steps:

  • Fill in the Campus Access form. You will need to do this every time you access campus

Covid-19 Ad hoc Access to Campus Form 

Increased Ventilation is only one of the strategies available to minimize the spread of Covid 19 along with regular handwashing and sanitation, respiratory etiquette, remaining at home when we have symptoms, using the Covid Tracker app, Covid testing and the vaccination programme.

  • The Work safely Protocol issued by Government issued earlier this year and https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/22829a-return-to-work-safely-protocol/ and the more recent ’Reframing the challenge, continuing our recovery and reconnecting’, document available here https://www.gov.ie/en/publication/3361b-public-health-updates/ .

    The Estates Office have pulled together some FAQ’s around ventilation which we hope will answer any queries you may have.

  • Yes.  As the Estates Office has engaged the assistance of a specialist Consulting Engineering company to review ventilation and identify any areas where ventilation can be improved.  We have used the HSA employer checklist on ventilation as our framework to review ventilation at the Institute, please see link below:  

    https://www.hsa.ie/eng/topics/covid-19_coronavirus_information_and_resources/covid-19_business_supports/business_supports/work_safely_templates_checklists_and_posters/checklist_no_8_ventilation_july_2021.pdf

    We have also engaged a specialist ventilation company to review the airflow rates from our mechanically operated systems.  This information was used to inform and plan.  

  • The Institute has a mixture of systems:  Natural ventilation and Mechanical ventilation from Air Handling Units (AHU’s) and/or Heat Recovery Units.  In some instances,  we have mixed mode ventilation, where we have a mixture of mechanical and natural ventilation.

  • Natural Ventilation is opening windows, doors, window trickle vents, roof lights etc to allow fresh air into a space

  • Lecture rooms which have windows will be opened by the Porters in the mornings and closed again at night.    

  • The Estates office advises that the windows should be open.  If a space feels stuffy please open the windows.   

  • All office areas have been reviewed.The majority of offices are naturally ventilated. 

  • All lecture rooms have been reviewed by external consultants as outlined above.  Any recommendations are being implemented, for example provision of air purifiers.        

  • Air Purifier’s continually measure the air quality without affecting ambient temperature. This improves the quality of the indoor air at a frequency varying according to the size of the room and the amount of pollutants.  

  • Most mechanically operated systems introduce air into a space through an Air Handling Unit (AHU).  AHU’s are regularly maintained and serviced by the Estates Office, and where necessary bearings, fans, filters, etc. have been replaced.  In general larger teaching spaces, labs, workshops, toilets and lecture theatres are mechanically ventilated, with supply and / or extract grilles fitted to the ceiling or walls.

    Most mechanically operated systems are controlled through the Estates Office Building Management System (BMS).  The BMS controls the airflow into rooms by the use of temperate or  C02 monitoring.    

    All mechanically ventilated teaching spaces have been assessed, by external consultants, for their capacity to provide adequate ventilation in line with REHVA and CIBSE Covid 19 guidance. 

  • Heat Recovery units are sometimes called Lossnay units.  They bring fresh air into a space where the natural ventilation is not possible or where there may not be enough air changes.  Most of these units have been fitted with a presence detector, meaning the system will automatically operate when someone uses the space. 

  • Operational signage has been added to naturally ventilated lecture rooms advising people to open windows.  Signage has also been placed in mechanically ventilated spaces where user input is required to activate the system.

  • CO2 monitors will indicate the real time level of C02 in a space. Levels will fluctuate as persons walk past the sensors or combustion activity outside of the building varies, e.g. due to traffic levels. However in line with best practice guidance the aim is to keep the CO2 levels at or below 1,000 ppm as much of the time as possible.

    Remember, CO2 levels do not indicate the presence or absence of Covid material in a space, they are a way of validating one of the control measures (i.e. ventilation) that is used to help reduce the risk from Covid. The wearing of face coverings also helps reduce the risk by trapping many of the droplets and aerosols produced by the wearer preventing them entering the air breathed by others.

    Colour on display C02 Levels What is the monitor telling you?
    Green Up to 800ppm CO2 levels detected are within the acceptable/normal range
    Yellow 801 to 1000ppm CO2 levels are rising and a response by the occupants should be taken – open windows/vents to increase fresh air intake.
    Orange 1001 to 1500ppm CO2 levels are rising and a response by the occupants should be taken – open windows/vents to increase fresh air intake.
    Red Over 1500ppm CO2 levels are relatively high. The monitor will beep to indicate the threshold level has been reached. A response by the occupants is required–open windows/vents to increase fresh air intake and occupants may consider vacating the room for a short period of time to allow adequate fresh air intake to bring CO2 levels below 1500ppm.

    CO2 monitors can and will activate, particularly if people congregate in close proximity e.g. when filling into a space. A small number of exhaled breaths directly onto a CO2 sensor can also trigger an alarm.

    In the event that a local CO2 monitor indicates a high CO2 reading (or shows a red reading) the Lecturer should:

    Ensure that persons have not congregated close to the sensor Wait for short period of time to see if the alarm clears (returns to amber or green)

     

    Should CO2 levels remain high (red) after these steps please contact Estate Office. 

    • If the monitor remains in alarm (red) make sure windows are open fully
    • If necessary open Lecture room door(s) temporarily to improve air flow
  • In a naturally ventilated spaces:

    • You should ensure that all windows are opened fully and doors are also opened where practical. This may result in a reduced temperature in some spaces.
    • In a naturally ventilated lecture room you can ensure that all windows and doors are open when leaving the classroom so the space can air.
    • In mechanically ventilated spaces, ventilation provided by the system is sufficient to achieve adequate air quality.  However, you may also wish to open windows and doors. 
  • Most corridors and access spaces rely on natural ventilation. Where there are windows in these spaces these should be opened where possible.  

    Corridors doors should be left open where possible, however it is important not to prop open any fire doors as this would contravene fire regulations.  Fire doors are easily recognisable as they will have a Fire Door Keep Closed label attached to the door. Some fire doors are fitted with special ‘door hold open’ devices (which automatically release/close the door when the fire alarm is activated). These should be left in the open position.

  • Queries about the nature and type of ventilation in a particular space can be directed to [email protected]