Over 24,000 Covid-19 inspections

Of the 24,970 Covid-19 workplace inspections carried out since checks on compliance with the Return to Work Safely Protocol commenced in mid-May, 5,553 have been carried out by the HSA.

The figures, which cover the period from May 18th, 2020, to January 15th, 2021, come as the Department of Health continues to report a surge in Covid-19 cases. Up to January 19th, there were 181,922 confirmed Covid-19 cases.

A report in the Irish Independent, based on figures up to the end of December, stated that of the 5,416 Covid-19 inspections up to that date, reports of inspection were issued in 2,547 cases. Up to the end of December there were 186 inspections of meat plants, of which 155 were unannounced.

Figures provided to HSR by the Authority show that up to December 18th, HSA inspectors found 92% of workplaces had Covid-19 measures in place, 78% had a Covid-19 response plan and 70% had appointed a lead worker representative. Up to January 15th, the Authority’s Work Safely Protocol and checklists have been downloaded over 416,500 times.

The weekly epidemiology report of Covid-19 outbreaks/clusters for the week ending January 16th, prepared by the Health Protection Surveillance Centre, reports a total of 367 outbreaks in workplaces since the pandemic occurred.

Going into some more detail on these 367 outbreaks, the reports states outbreaks resulted in 705 cases in meat/poultry processing plants, 400 in what are described as commercial workplaces, 232 in food/beverage processing plants, 186 in construction, 174 in manufacturing, 139 in office-based workplaces, and 125 in the Defence Forces/ justice/emergency sector.

Source: Health and Safety Review