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Health and Safety Regulations.

Dáil Éireann Debate, Tuesday - 15 February 2005

Tuesday, 15 February 2005

Questions (253)

Billy Timmins

Question:

302 Mr. Timmins asked the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment the safety checks carried out at NCT centres; the safety measures required at these centres; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [4903/05]

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Written answers (Question to Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment)

I am addressing the Deputy's question from the viewpoint of occupational safety and health. Day-to-day responsibility for the administration and enforcement of occupational safety and health legislation through the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989 and the range of regulations made under it, including the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 1993 and the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Chemical Agents) Regulations 2001, is a matter for the Health and Safety Authority.

National car testing centres, as in the case of all other workplaces, are subject to occupational safety and health legislation and are liable to inspection by the Health and Safety Authority, in accordance with its prioritised programme of work and standard operational procedures.

The methods used for the inspection of workplaces depend on a range of factors including the nature of the inspection visit, that is whether it is a routine inspection, a follow-up inspection, the investigation of an accident, investigation of a complaint etc. In the course of inspections, inspectors speak to managers, safety officers and, where available, worker safety representatives. Follow-up action includes both verbal and written advice and, where necessary, the issuing of enforcement notices. Where an inspector issues a formal enforcement direction or notice, this is generally copied to the site safety representative for information.

Monitoring of the workplace atmosphere as it relates to potential for exposure to hazardous chemical agents is covered by the Chemical Agents Regulations 2001. The regulations require employers to identify the hazards arising, assess the risks and put in place appropriate control measures. As part of the risk assessment it may be necessary for the employer to establish, or have established on his or her behalf, the levels of chemical agents being emitted in the workplace atmosphere. Following the risk assessment, it may be necessary for employees to undergo health surveillance of which records are required to be kept.

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