Written answers

Thursday, 15 October 2020

Department of Trade, Enterprise and Employment

Health and Safety Inspections

Photo of Louise O'ReillyLouise O'Reilly (Dublin Fingal, Sinn Fein)
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70. To ask the Minister for Trade, Enterprise and Employment the number of HSA inspections of meat and food processing plants that have been carried out for compliance with Covid-19 regulations since March 2020; the locations of each; if the workplace was compliant or not; the number that were unannounced; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [30002/20]

Photo of Leo VaradkarLeo Varadkar (Dublin West, Fine Gael)
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The Health and Safety Authority has completed 98 inspections and investigations (13 of which were revisits) of Meat and Food Processing Facilities since the Return to Work Safely Protocol was introduced on the 18thMay 2020, including those connected with COVID-19 outbreaks. Of the total number of inspections carried out, 30 inspections were announced. These announced inspections took place in facilities which were the focus of the National Outbreak Control Team due to significant COVID-19 outbreaks. Otherwise, the majority of inspections by the Health and Safety Authority are unannounced.

Table 1 below shows the number of COVID-19 compliance checks per NACE sectoral code for Meat & Food processing and the percentage level of compliance with the main provisions contained in the Return to Work Safely Protocol namely;

- Covid Plan in place

- Covid training provided

- Covid control measures in place

- Lead worker representative in place

% Compliance with COVID Protocol Requirements

NACE Code Total No. Covid Checks Plan % Training % Control Measures % Lead Worker %
1011-Processing and preserving of meat 72 96 95 99 71
1012-Processing and preserving of Poultry meat 5 100 100 100 60
1013- Production of meat and Poultry meat products 21 21 95 95 95

Table 2 below shows the number of inspections and revisits carried out by the HSA per County for the food processing and meat processing plants between 18th May and 8th October 2020.

Authority Inspections- Food Processing/MPP Between 18/05/20 to the 08/10/20

County Inspections Revisits
Carlow 2 1
Cavan 3 0
Cork 18 4
Donegal 2 0
Kildare 7 1
Dublin 3 0
Galway 1 0
Kilkenny 1 0
Laois 2 0
Longford 2 1
Monaghan 4 0
Meath 6 0
Mayo 5 1
Waterford 4 0
Tipperary 10 2
Roscommon 4 1
Westmeath 3 2
Offaly 2 0
Wexford 5 0
TOTAL 85 13

There is positive cross-Agency/Departmental co-operation regarding meat plants and I am advised that improvements have been forthcoming in the sector. Increased funding for the Health and Safety Authority in 2021 will enable the Authority to work pro-actively with all identified high-risk sectors to put measures in place to mitigate against the outbreak of COVID-19 in the workplace and to undertake increased inspection activities as necessary.

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