AQW 5596/17-22 – HSE Inspections

Mr Patsy McGlone (Mid Ulster): To ask the Minister for the Economy, pursuant to AQW 5085/17-22, (i) how many of the 21 inspections were unannounced; (ii) how many of the 21 inspections recorded deficiencies in those food processing plants; and (iii) where deficiencies were recorded, what enforcement actions were taken by the Health and Safety Executive.

Minister for the Economy: HSENI carried out 21 unannounced inspections and did not identify any breaches requiring formal enforcement action (enforcement notices or prosecution) in relation to COVID-19 control measures.

A total of 115 improvements were identified by HSENI Inspectors across the 21 sites. In line with normal procedure, at each site where potential improvements were identified, these were raised by the Inspectors during the inspection and 18 sites were followed up by letter or e-mail to the management of the business detailing any actions to strengthen their COVID-19 (or other health or safety) controls.

Timescales were set for improvements to be made and the majority of the sites have completed remedial actions and the cases closed. Where longer term actions are required, follow up is continuing and the cases remain open until completion of actions is confirmed.