During the pandemic, the HSE have so far recorded zero enforcement notices, despite outbreaks and deaths from Covid-19.
In the period between the 6th and 14th January 2021, it is reported that the HSE were contacted 2,945 times regarding health and safety breaches related to Covid-19, but not one enforcement notice has been served.
The HSE’s approach to the pandemic appears to have been relaxed, with only 0.1% of 97,000 safety cases dealt with during the pandemic resulting in an improvement or prohibition safety notice. It’s reported that not one organisation has been prosecuted for Covid-related breaches of safety laws so far.
Whilst there are tens of thousands of businesses striving to keep their workforces safe and taking precautionary steps, there are worrying reports of outbreaks and deaths from Covid-19. Health and safety law has been enshrined to protect people, and the HSE is relied upon to uphold those laws and standards. As the pandemic rolls on unabated, will we see a firmer hand taken to help safeguard vulnerable people?