Thursday, 2 December 2021
Department of Housing, Planning, and Local Government
61. To ask the Minister for Housing, Planning, and Local Government the steps he has taken to improve ventilation in the office buildings of his Department; if air cleaning and or purification systems have been installed in 2021; and if not, the plans to install same in 2022. [59724/21]
My Department has taken multiple steps to mitigate the risks posed by COVID in the workplace. These steps include risk assessments which have been conducted in all Department Office locations. These assessments have taken into account public health guidelines and also guidance from the OPW, Health and Safety Authority and the Work Safely Protocol. All recommended control measures listed in these risk assessments have been implemented in each location. Some of these measures include methods to maximise the level of “fresh” outside air circulating in the Department’s locations, therefore reducing the level of recirculated air in the workplace. My Department has also implemented measures to ensure that there is sufficient ventilation across all office locations. These measures include maximising natural ventilation and staggering the attendance of staff in the office. All Department staff are currently working from home, where possible, as per Government guidelines.
My Department reviews its ventilation control measures, which are based on Public Health Guidance, on a regular basis. Standalone air cleaning or purification systems have not been installed in our office locations in 2021 and plans for the installation of such systems is a matter for the OPW.