Figures revealed in the Dail show that the HSA carried out nearly 5,000 inspections in the first half of the year, with over 40% of these being in construction alone.
Responding to a question from Catherine Murphy, T.D., Frances Fitzgerald, the Tánaiste and new Minister for Enterprise and Innovation, said the HSA carried out a total of 4,853 inspections and investigations up to June 23rd. Of these 4,853 inspections/investigations, 4,398 were routine inspections and 455 were investigations following an accident or a complaint.
As many as 42% of the inspections were in the construction sector and about a quarter were farm inspections. Around 60% of the inspections resulted in some form of enforcement action, mostly in the form of reports on inspections. Prohibition notices were issued in 227 cases, improvement notices in 189 cases and reports of inspection in 2,329 cases.
Of the 2,045 inspections/investigations, 1,881 were inspections and 164 were investigations. Prohibition notices were served in 121 cases and improvement notices in 43. Reports of inspections were issued in 903. Of the 1,141 farm inspections/investigations, 1,110 were inspections and 31 investigations.
In the manufacturing sector, a total of 422 inspections/investigations were carried out (374 inspections and 48 investigations), while 411 were carried out in the wholesale/retail sector (342 inspections and 69 investigations). Two-hundred and fifty inspections/investigations were carried out in the transport and storage sector, of which 224 were inspections and 26 were investigations.
The Minister also gave details of inspections and investigations carried out in 2014, 2015 and 2016. In 2016, just 10,485 inspections/investigations were carried out, the lowest number since 1994.