RTE are this evening reporting that the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) have received more than 200 complaints in relation to alleged breaches of COVID-19 guidelines by employers but have yet to carry out a single on-site investigation into same.
The broadcaster reports Minister Heather Humphreys as having stated that:
"Currently it has not been necessary for the HSA to carry out physical inspections in respect of the complaints received. In relation to the adherence to public health measures in the workplace, the HSA will examine incidences and take enforcement action where necessary".
Paul Murphy TD reportedly responded to the Minister's remarks by commenting that:
"Any company found to be in breach of the guidelines should face fines, and if senior management are found to have made workers work in unsafe conditions should also face criminal prosecution".
It is somewhat surprising that the HSA has not seen fit to carry out an inspection in respect of any of the complaints received. At the same time, employers who are open for business at present or who are considering reopening soon need to be mindful of the pressure that may build on the HSA to initiate prosecutions in the future.