Other News In Brief

Lidl Introduces Priority Shopping For The Elderly

Lidl has announced the implementation of priority shopping hours across all 39 stores in Northern Ireland until further notice.

Beginning on Tuesday 17 March, the mornings will run from 9am – 11am every day and will include prioritised queuing and additional assistance for older customers.

It comes amid a period of so-called 'panic buying', which has seen shelves emptied of stock as members of the public prepare for potential stretches of self-isolation.

The public is asked to respect this time to allow more elderly customers to collect the food and supplies they need.

A spokesperson for the company said: "We may not be able to actively monitor this at all times as our store teams are required on checkouts and restocking shelves, so we kindly ask that customers respect this measure and plan their shopping trips around this timeframe."

Call For Homeless Protection Against Coronavirus

Northern Ireland housing bodies have come under pressure to introduce measures to protect homeless people from the coronavirus outbreak.

Sinn Féin has written to the Housing Executive and the Federation of Housing Associations asking for an update on arrangements.

MLA Carál Ní Chuilín commented on the widespread concern about Covid-19, putting a large emphasis on those vulnerable members of society.

"I have requested an update from the Housing Executive and the Federation of Housing Associations on their plans regarding support for people sleeping on the streets and the availability of services for them during the COVID 19 pandemic," the MLA said.

"I have asked what plans they have in place for people who use hostels who may become ill with coronavirus and have to self-isolate.

"I have requested information on the arrangements and support being put in place regarding rents for people who need to stop work due to self-isolation or caring responsibilities and find themselves in financial difficulty.
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"I have also asked for details on how tenants will be able to have access to information from the Housing Executive in the event that the front-facing services may be closed to the public.

"Contingency plans must be put in place to ensure people sleeping rough are included in any measures to help prevent the spread of coronavirus."

NI Firm Wins Prestigious Health & Safety Accolade

Northern Ireland construction firm McAleer & Rushe has been awarded a prestigious accolade for excellence in health and safety.

The British Safety Council presented the company with an International Safety Award with a Distinction. This celebrates the firm's commitment to keeping its workers and workplaces healthy and safe throughout 2019.

The company is one of 87 organisations to win a Distinction in the 2020 International Safety Awards.

Now in their 62nd year, the International Safety Awards recognise and celebrate organisations from around the world which have demonstrated to the satisfaction of the scheme's independent judges their commitment to preventing workplace injuries and work-related ill health during the previous calendar year. The awards also recognise organisations that have shown commitment to wellbeing and mental health at work.

Congratulating McAleer & Rushe on the award, Mike Robinson, Chief Executive of the British Safety Council, said: "The British Safety Council commends McAleer & Rushe on their achievement. The award is in recognition of their commitment and efforts to keep their employees and workplaces free of injury and ill health. All of those working at McAleer & Rushe should be rightly proud of their achievement."

Declan McLogan, SHEQ Director at McAleer & Rushe commented: "We are extremely proud to win a Distinction in the International Safety Awards recognizing our continuous efforts to raise the bar in safeguarding the health, safety and wellbeing of all staff members, site operatives and visitors at all times. As a responsible employer we take pride in the commitment and collaboration which our staff show on a daily basis to abide by all policies and procedures, with a shared social conscience so that we are not only protecting our own safety but everyone who works with us and for us."

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