Houses of the Oireachtas

All parliamentary debates are now being published on our new website. The publication of debates on this website will cease in December 2018.

Go to oireachtas.ie

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Factory Inspections.

Tuesday, 7 June 1966

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 223 No. 1

First Page Previous Page Page of 62 Next Page Last Page

50.

Mr. Cluskey: Information on Frank Cluskey Zoom on Frank Cluskey asked the Minister for Industry and Commerce if he will take steps to amend section 73 of the Factories Act, 1955 so as to make it a statutory duty on the part of a factory inspector to ensure that he is accompanied by the safety delegate during his inspection of a workplace or on any occasion when he officially visits a workplace, and to provide that copies of inspectors' reports and recommendations appertaining to a factory or workplace be furnished to the safety delegate for such factory or workplace.

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery I appreciate the concern of the Deputy in the matter of safety in factories, but I do not consider it necessary or desirable to adopt the suggestion made in the Deputy's question.

Section 73 (1) (g) of the Factories Act, 1955 enables an inspector, should he so wish, to have a safety delegate, if there is one, accompany him on his tour of inspection of a factory and the essential point in this is, that no one can legally object to the safety delegate accompanying the inspector if the [35] inspector wishes him to do so. I am sure the Deputy will agree that this is a better arrangement than to make it illegal for an inspector to carry out his duties unless he is accompanied by a safety delegate.

The reports of factory inspectors are confidential departmental documents and are not made available to third parties.

Mr. O'Leary: Is the Minister aware that one of the weaknesses in present factory legislation is the fact that safety committees are not in operation in many factories? That is one of the main grievances at the moment.

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery The provision is there to permit of safety committees being set up by the workers, if they so wish.

Mr. O'Leary: I agree, but the provision has not been implemented. This again is a matter in which factory inspectors could take more interest.

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery I can understand factory inspectors giving encouragement but I think the workers themselves should have a sufficiently responsible sense of their own protection.

Mr. O'Leary: The Minister will appreciate that many managers are not anxious to promote safety committees.

Dr. Hillery: Information on Patrick John Hillery Zoom on Patrick John Hillery If I had any evidence of obstruction to such safety measures, I would certainly deal with it.

Mr. Cluskey: Information on Frank Cluskey Zoom on Frank Cluskey Are we to understand that it is the Minister's intention simply to make an Order and leave everybody, other than the Minister responsible, to carry it out? Has the Minister had any cases, or has he done anything about cases, in which the Order has not been complied with? We cannot just leave it to the workers and managements. After all, they are fighting a battle every day.


Last Updated: 13/05/2015 09:01:06 First Page Previous Page Page of 62 Next Page Last Page