Tuesday, 11 June 2019

Questions (380)

Niall Collins

Question:

380. Deputy Niall Collins asked the Minister for Business, Enterprise and Innovation the number of inspections carried out by the Health and Safety Authority on fairground and funfair equipment and roller coasters in each of the years 2011 to 2018 and to date in 2019, in tabular form; the number of instances of health and safety breaches that were reported following such inspections; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [23556/19]

View answer

Written answers (Question to Business)

It should be noted that responsibility for the licensing and operation of Funfairs is a policy matter for Housing, Planning and Local Government as the existing legislation dealing with licensing of funfairs, the duties on organisers of funfairs, and the owners of fairground equipment, in the context of public safety, is covered by the Planning and Development Act 2000.

The role of the Health and Safety Authority in relation to Funfairs arises in the context of their overall legislative remit on workplace health and safety and in ensuring the protection of workers at work. In this regard the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) carried out 18 inspections during from 2011 to the present and the breakdown of those inspections can be seen in the following table.

2011

2012

2013

2014

2015

2016

2017

2018

2019

Inspections

2

2

0

6

3

1

1

2

1

Investigations

1

0

0

2

1

1

1

0

0

Verbal Advice

0

0

0

0

3

0

0

1

Written advice

2

1

0

6

0

1

1

2

0

Improvement Notice

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

The findings of these inspections led to 6 formal investigations taking place, 4 instances when verbal advice was provided, 13 instances of written advice and an improvement notice was issued in one instance.

The HSA’s inspection of workplaces programme is carefully planned each year based on risk and as such its proactive programme of work focuses primarily on high risk sectors, sectors where there are a high level of workplace fatalities and serious injuries occurring such as agriculture, construction, health and social care sectors. Given the low level of workplace incidents in fairgrounds, any inspections are reactive rather than proactive and the HSA does not have a proactive programme of work in this sector.

HSA inspectors are granted a broad range of enforcement powers through the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. In instances where a serious breach of regulation/contravention in a place of work is identified, an Inspector can issue an improvement notice on the person in control of the place of work directing them to comply with the regulation within a set time frame. As already indicated there was one improvement notice issued in this sector for the time period 2011 – 2018.

In addition should an Inspector observe a breach of regulation/contravention that could give rise to the immediate risk of serious workplace injury, the Inspector can issue a Prohibition Notice on the person in control of the place of work directing them to stop the activity immediately and not to resume until such time as there are appropriate remedial measures have been put in place to address the contravention and reduce the risk of serious injury. No such Prohibition Notices were issued in this sector for the time period 2011 -2018.

Finally, in instances where an inspector observes minor contraventions they can issue written advice or give verbal advice to the person in control of the place of work. During the period covered such advice was given in 17 instances.