Thursday, 2 December 2021
Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine
250. To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine 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. [59714/21]
My Department has followed the advice of the Health and Safety Authority and the advice contained in the Government’s Work Safely Protocol in relation to ventilation in office buildings.
The Office of Public Works, who are responsible for the management of Government properties, has advised my Department that all our mechanical ventilation systems are operating efficiently and are maintained in accordance with the manufacturer’s guidelines.
The importance of ventilation and practical steps to increase ventilation, such as opening windows and ensuring a cross flow of air, has been communicated to staff.
Managers and staff with responsibility for accommodation work in partnership with our Lead Worker Representatives to monitor and ensure that all COVID-19 controls are being implemented.
My Department has implemented the latest Government advice and has requested that staff work from home, unless it is necessary for them to attend the workplace in person. Decreased numbers attending in offices also has a positive impact on ventilation.
The Department has not installed any air cleaning or purification systems in our offices and have no plans to do so in 2022. However, as always, the approach to ventilation throughout the Department will be led by the prevailing public health advice and the advice of the Health and Safety Authority in relation to workplace safety.