HSA report shows 68% of inspections result in enforcement

08 November 2020

OF ALL inspections and investigations carried out in 2019, 68% resulted in enforcement being taken, new figures released by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) reveal.

The Authority’s 2019 Annual Report shows that there were 9,270 inspections, and 1,032 investigations completed. Of these, 68% resulted in enforcement actions ranging from written advice to prohibition notices, with 11 fines imposed totalling €938,000.

Of the 9,270 inspections carried out, 7,891 were proactively completed in relation to occupational health and safety, and 1,379 were completed in relation to chemicals.

Of the 1,032 investigations completed on foot of incidents and complaints reported to the Authority, 53 were completed in agriculture, 398 in construction and 38 in healthcare.

During 2019, a specific docks campaign was undertaken in response to the high number of fatalities in the period 2018-2019. The 76 inspections focused on the management of health and safety during vehicle movements in docks and port areas.

Dr Sharon McGuinness, chief executive officer of the HSA, outlined the importance of the Authority’s work programme, “While we acknowledged our 30 years influence on workplace health and safety in 2019, it is important that the Authority continues to regulate by focusing on compliance through risk-based inspection. We also need to promote and raise health and safety awareness in order to prevent incidents and injury. With 47 lives tragically lost in work-related incidents in 2019, there is still a lot of work to do and no room for complacency. As the regulatory authority in Ireland, we will continue to partner and collaborate in order to influence Irish business to provide healthy, safe and productive workplaces”, Dr McGuinness said.

Brexit remained a priority in 2019 as the Authority worked towards every deadline to ensure that Irish companies were informed of the implications of the UK leaving the EU.

Tom Coughlan, chairperson of the Health and Safety Authority, said that the Authority is particularly focused on the potential impact of Brexit in relation to areas such as chemicals, accreditation and industrial products.

“In addition to our focus on occupational health and safety, the HSA is working to deliver support and guidance to Irish companies as part of the whole-of-Government approach to get Ireland Brexit ready. The HSA is participating in a range of events to provide advice, including those organised by Government departments and agencies," he said.

A copy of the annual report is available here.