I propose to take Questions Nos. 376 and 386 together.
Health and Safety Authority Budget Allocation 2017 - 2019
The Health and Safety Authority delivers on a broad remit of work across a very wide mandate which includes occupational health and safety, chemical safety, market surveillance and national accreditation.
In the area of occupational health and safety the Authority is involved in the provision of advice, tools, education and support as well as inspection, investigation and prosecutions. In any given year the Health and Safety Authority carries out over 9,500 inspections and investigations under safety, health and chemicals legislation. The focus on inspection and investigation is risk based and evidence led with the highest levels of inspections and investigations taking place in construction; agriculture; manufacturing; wholesale and retail with written advice, improvement notices and prohibition notices for more serious breaches observed. The Authority had 15 prosecutions in 2018, resulting in total fines imposed of €705,972.
In relation to chemicals, the Authority adopts a similar approach as it does with the occupational health and safety areas of its remit in terms of support, advice, inspection and investigation under the different regulations in addition to acting as the lead Competent Authority under the Chemicals Acts 2008 and 2010. As the Competent Authority, the Authority delivers on national objectives in relation to the evaluation, hazard identification and risk management of chemicals manufactured and used in Europe. The Health and Safety Authority also carries out Competent Authority functions in relation to Control of Major Accident Hazards Regulations (COMAH), completing specific inspections in the area as the regulator. The Authority is responsible in Ireland for delivering on national commitments in relation to the Carriage of Dangerous Goods by Road and Use of Transportable Pressure Equipment Regulations by completing inspections of vehicles and premises.
In relation to the occupational hygiene programme and delivering on its policy and inspection objectives, the Authority targets actions in relation to asbestos, biological, chemical and physical agents by carrying out asbestos inspections and if required prosecutions in relation to asbestos and construction related contraventions. The Authority’s role also extends into the area of market surveillance on chemical and industrial products which are placed on the Irish market to check whether they are in compliance with chemical and industrial products legislation requirements.
The Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB), which is part of the Health and Safety Authority, has the National Accreditation role in Ireland. It assesses applicants for accreditation and accredits conformity assessment bodies.
I am satisfied that the Health and Safety Authority has been adequately funded over the years 2017 to 2019 to deliver effectively on its extensive mandate.