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Data supplied to this newspaper shows the Authority carried out 82 investigations in the healthcare sector in 2014. This compares to 51 investigations in 2009. The investigations are carried out when either accidents or complaints need to be investigated.
The Authority issued 15 enforcement actions last year, compared to 30 in 2009. The enforcement actions taken cover a wide variety of healthcare activities in public/private hospitals and care homes.
The total number of inspections and investigations carried out by the Authority in the healthcare sector was down last year, at 324, compared to 428 in 2013. Typically, a year’s inspections would comprise 50 per cent HSE-run public hospitals and 50 per cent voluntary/private healthcare institutions, a spokesperson for the Authority told MI.
Mr Peter Claffey, Programme Manager, Health and Safety Authority, told MI: “Currently, our inspection process primarily focuses on ensuring effective health and safety management systems are in place, [and] we also target hazards such as work-related violence and aggression, sharps injuries, trips, slips and falls and manual handling.”
He said that 88-to-90 per cent of healthcare facilities have now prepared safety statements, which are a legal requirement under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005.