Thursday, 24 January 2019
Department of Justice and Equality
116. To ask the Tánaiste and Minister for Justice and Equality if he is satisfied in relation to the investment in health and safety provision in prisons here; the investment in same on a yearly basis since 2015; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [3456/19]
I am advised by my officials in the Irish Prison Service that it aims to achieve the highest health and safety standards across its operations and to meet the statutory requirements set out in the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 as well as compliance with the provisions and requirements of other relevant legislation, standards and codes of practice.
To do this the Irish Prison Service has established and maintains an occupational health and safety management system (OHSMS) based on the requirements of the internationally recognised safety management system – Occupational Health and Safety Assessment Series (OHSAS) 18001. The Occupational Health and Safety Management System facilitates the Irish Prison Service’s compliance with legal requirements and ensures that the policies and procedures are implemented, operated, checked, audited and reviewed in accordance with a structured programme with the objective of continual improvement.
I am not in a position to disaggregate the spend on health and safety as this is incorporated into a range of subheads such as capital spending, fire safety, planned preventative maintenance, personal protective equipment, staff training, salaries and information and communication technology.
I am assured by the Director General of the Irish Prison Service that she is committed to ensuring that adequate resources are provided to enable to Irish Prison Service meet its statutory requirements and its commitment to the safety of all those to whom it owes a duty of care, including staff, prisoners, contractors and visitors.