Copies of inspection reports from meat processing plant inspections released; Right to Know to challenge decision to redact names of the factories

Staff working “face to face”, ill-fitted specialist masks, lack of social distancing, and tightly spaced locker rooms were among the issues highlighted in inspections of meat processing plants by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA).

The reports have been released by the HSA with the identity of the specific factories removed along with the dates of the inspection.

In one report, multiple issues were highlighted with face coverings not being used across the site, especially in areas where social distancing could not be observed.

Staff wearing specialist masks had them “ill-fitted” or worn incorrectly while “pinch points” where staff were congregating were observed at hygiene stations, locker rooms, as well as entrances and exits.

As part of this request, Right to Know had taken a case to the Information Commissioner seeking release of these reports.

The HSA offered to release redacted copies of the reports and we accepted that based on the thinking it was better that this information would then be in the public domain more quickly.

However, we do not accept that the identities of the factories involved should be kept secret and we will be taking a new case to seek release of that detail.