Tuesday, 13 October 2020
Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment
28. To ask the Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment the number of HSA inspections of workplaces that have been carried out for compliance with Covid-19 regulations from March 2020 to date by sector; if the workplace was compliant; the number of inspections that were unannounced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [29961/20]
The Return to Work Safely Protocol (Protocol) was launched on 9May 2020 and came into effect on the 18May 2020 to coincide with Phase 1 of the Government roadmap to ease COVID-19 restrictions and commence the reopening of the economy. Between 18th of May 2020, and 2nd of October 2020 the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) carried out 3,785 COVID-19 compliance checks.
The table contained in the following link shows the number of COVID-19 compliance checks per sector and the percentage level of compliance with the main provisions contained in the Protocol namely;
- Covid Plan in place
- Covid training provided
- Covid control measures in place
- Lead worker representative in place
The vast majority of inspections carried out by the HSA are unannounced. In exceptional circumstances, and in particular in relation to COVID-19, for example, in support of Public Health management of an outbreak, advanced notification may be required for operational reasons.
Based on the inspections and investigations carried out, the HSA identified a generally high level of compliance with the recommended measures to limit the spread of COVID-19 in workplaces. When non compliance with the Protocol is identified this is followed up with the employer.
Including the HSA COVID-19 compliance checks, a total of 16,817 compliance checks have been carried out by all the inspection bodies, which includes the Workplace Relations Commission, Agricultural Inspectors from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine and the HSE's Environmental Health Officers. Over 368,500 downloads of HSA Return to Work Safely Checklists and Templates have also taken place.