Written answers

Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation

Health and Safety Inspections

Photo of Brian StanleyBrian Stanley (Laois-Offaly, Sinn Fein)
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522. To ask the Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation if the HSA will carry out inspections of all meat plants here. [6188/20]

Photo of Heather HumphreysHeather Humphreys (Cavan-Monaghan, Fine Gael)
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The inspection of workplaces and any actions arising from inspections are, in the first instance, an operational matter for the Health and Safety Authority. In deciding to carry out a workplace inspection, the Health and Safety Authority consider a number of factors, including receipt of complaints in relation to practices at a place of work.

I understand that a Health Service Executive led National Outbreak Control Team for COVID-19 outbreaks in meat processing plants is in place and it reports to the Health Protection Surveillance Centre. This national outbreak control team has input from professionals in public health, environmental health, occupational health, health & safety and animal health. To date the Health and Safety Authority has participated in two National OCT meetings. The Health and Safety Authority, based on their engagements, with the National OCT are preparing to prioritise and inspect some meat factories based on the information made available by the Public Health experts regarding COVID-19 outbreaks in meat factories.

In general the Health and Safety Authority carries out a mix of unannounced inspections, along with providing advice and information through the HSA Workplace Contact Unit email and phoneline. Any concerns about potential breaches of occupational safety and health legislation at a specific place of work and/or in regard to adherence with the provisions of the national Return to Work Safely Protocol should be brought to the attention of the Health and Safety Authority by contacting its Workplace Contact Unit at wcu@hsa.ieand Tel: 1890 289 389.


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