Thursday, 15 October 2020

Questions (70)

Louise O'Reilly

Question:

70. Deputy Louise O'Reilly asked the Tánaiste and Minister for Enterprise, Trade 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]

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Written answers (Question to Enterprise)

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 18th May 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.

Question No. 71 answered with Question No. 65.