Dáil Éireann Written Answers 20/09/17 – Department of Defence – Defence Forces Properties

Aengus Ó Snodaigh (Dublin South Central, Sinn Fein)

817. To ask the Taoiseach and Minister for Defence if the State Claims Agency has been tasked with taking health and safety risk assessments at Casement Aerodrome, Baldonnel; the date on which these assessments commenced; if they are still ongoing; the findings of these health and risk assessments; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [39834/17]

Paul Kehoe (Wexford, Fine Gael)

I am advised that the State Claims Agency do not undertake health and safety risk assessments in the Defence Forces. This function is the responsibility of the Defence Forces.

With regard to the Air Corps, the Deputy will be aware that the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), following a number of inspections in 2016, issued a Report of Inspection to the Air Corps on 21 October 2016, listing a number of matters requiring attention which included the areas of risk assessment.

The Air Corps as a consequence of this HSA report have implemented an improvement plan which is being conducted over eight phases. Seven of the eight phases have now been fully completed. The final phase is a continuous ongoing process. The implementation plan focuses on a number of areas, including risk assessments.

Mr V and The Defence Forces (FOI Act 2014)

Mr V and The Defence Forces (FOI Act 2014)

Case Number: 160138

Whether the Defence Forces was justified in refusing access to further records relating to the applicant’s request for risk assessments pertaining to the use of three specified chemical products, on the ground that no further records exist or can be found

Conducted in accordance with section 22(2) of the FOI Act by Stephen Rafferty, Senior Investigator, who is authorised by the Information Commissioner to conduct this review.

Explainer : Under Health & Safety legislation Irish Army Air Corps must be in possession of risk assessments for all chemicals in use in the workplace. At the time of the FoI request in November 2015 this had NEVER been carried out even though it had been mandatory since 1989.