Health and Safety Authority inspections of Air Corps base at Baldonnel uncovers litany of safety issues

Health and safety inspections on the Irish Air Corps discovered spills of hazardous brake fluid, water supply that carried the risk of Legionnaires’ disease, fall risks, damaged drains, and trailing cables across aircraft hangar floors.

The Defence Forces were also issued with a contravention notice by the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) over the use of some chemicals without completion of proper training by personnel on their safe use.

A HSA report on Casement Aerodrome at Baldonnel in Dublin late last year said that slip, trip, and fall hazards were “identified throughout” the facility.

A report from December said this included: “Deep drains, damaged drains, [an] uncovered drain, potentially slippery kitchen floor in areas, leaking combi oven in the kitchen, trailing cables on hangar floors, surprise steps, makeshift portacabin entrance steps, and uneven paths [and] surfaces in outdoor areas.”

An inspector said they also found scaffolding on the site that was not in use, had no inspection tags, and which had “structural concerns”.

Asked about the inspections, a spokesman for the HSA said they were the statutory body with responsibility for enforcing occupational safety and health law as well as promoting safety in the workplace.

He said: “Inspections are carried out in all industry sectors and reports are utilised to document observations and to instruct improvements.

“It is the responsibility of all employers to ensure the health and safety of employees and others, such as members of the public, who may be affected by work activity.”