Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005

Powers of inspectors.

64

64.—(1) An inspector shall, for the purposes of the relevant statutory provisions have power to do any one or more of the following:

( a) subject to subsection (5), at any time enter any place—

(i) which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing is used as a place of work,

(ii) in which he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that articles or substances or records are kept, or

(iii) to which the relevant statutory provisions apply,

and inquire into, search, examine and inspect that place and any work activity, installation, process or procedure at that place which is subject to the relevant statutory provisions and any such articles, substances or records to ascertain whether the relevant statutory provisions have been or are being complied with and for those purposes take with him or her and use any equipment or materials required for those purposes;

( b) direct that that place or any part of that place and anything in that place be left undisturbed for so long as is reasonably necessary for the purpose of any search, examination, investigation, inspection or inquiry under the relevant statutory provisions;

( c) direct that a safety statement be amended in accordance with section 20(5)(c) ;

( d) require the employer, any employee, the owner or person in charge of the place to produce to the inspector any records and in the case of such information in a non-legible form to reproduce it in a legible form and to give to the inspector such information as the inspector may reasonably require in relation to any entries in those records;

( e) inspect and take copies of or extracts from any such records or any electronic information system at the place, including in the case of information in a non-legible form, copies of or extracts from such information in a permanent legible form or require that such copies be provided;

( f) require a person by whom or on whose behalf a computer is or has been used to produce or store records or any person having charge of, or otherwise concerned with the operation of the computer, to afford the inspector all reasonable assistance in relation thereto;

( g) remove and retain the records (including documents stored in a non-legible form) and copies taken and detain the records for such period as the inspector reasonably considers to be necessary for further examination or until the conclusion of any legal proceedings;

( h) require that records be maintained for such period of time as may be reasonable;

( i) require the employer, any employee, the owner or person in charge of the place to give to the inspector any information that the inspector may reasonably require for the purposes of any search, examination, investigation, inspection or inquiry under the relevant statutory provisions;

( j) require the employer, owner, any person in charge of the place or any employee to give to the inspector such assistance and facilities within the person's control or responsibilities as are reasonably necessary to enable the inspector to exercise any of his or her powers under the relevant statutory provisions;

( k) summon, at a time and place specified by written notice to the person concerned, the employer, any employee, the owner or person in charge of the place to give to the inspector any information which the inspector may reasonably require in relation to the place, any article or substance, work activity, installation or procedure at the place, and to produce to the inspector any records that are in that person's power or control;

( l) subject to subsection (9), examine any person whom the inspector reasonably believes to be able to give information relevant to any search, examination, investigation, inspection or inquiry under the relevant statutory provisions and require the person to answer such questions as the inspector may put relative to the search, examination, investigation, inspection or inquiry and to sign a declaration of the truth of the answers;

( m) require that any article be operated or set in motion or that a procedure be carried out that may be relevant to any search, examination, investigation, inspection, or inquiry under the relevant statutory provisions;

( n) take any measurements or photographs or make any tape, electrical or other recordings which the inspector considers necessary for the purposes of any search, examination, investigation, inspection or inquiry under the relevant statutory provisions;

( o) where appropriate, install, use and maintain in, at or on the place monitoring instruments, systems and seals for the purposes of the relevant statutory provisions;

( p) there, or at any other place, carry out, or have carried out, such testing, examination or analysis of any article or substance found at the place, as he or she reasonably considers to be necessary, and for that purpose require the employer or owner or person in charge of the place to supply to the inspector without charge any article or substance or samples thereof, or remove any article, substance or samples thereof, for such testing, examination or analysis;

( q) cause any article or substance found at the place which appears to the inspector to be or to have been a risk to safety or health, to be dismantled or subjected to any process or test in accordance with paragraph (p) (but not so as to damage or destroy it unless this is in the circumstances necessary for the purposes of the relevant statutory provisions) and where an inspector proposes to exercise the power conferred by this paragraph in the case of an article or substance found at any place, he or she shall, if so requested by the employer, owner or person in charge of the place, cause anything which is to be done by virtue of that power to be done in the presence of that person;

( r) take samples of the atmosphere in any place of work;

( s) in relation to any article or substance found at the place in accordance with paragraph (q), to remove and retain it for such period as is necessary for all or any of the following purposes, namely:

(i) to examine or arrange for the examination of it and do to it anything which he or she has power to do under paragraph (q);

(ii) to ensure that it is not tampered with before the examination of it is completed;

(iii) to ensure that it is available for use as evidence in any proceedings;

( t) exercise such other powers as may be necessary for carrying out his or her functions.

(2) Where an article or substance is used at work, and a request is made in that behalf by an inspector in the course of a search, examination, investigation, inspection or inquiry, the employer shall give to the inspector the name and address of the supplier from whom the article or substance was purchased or otherwise obtained.

(3) Before exercising the power conferred by subsections (1)(p) and (q) in the case of any article or substance, an inspector shall, in so far as it is practicable to do so, consult such persons as appear to him or her to be appropriate for the purpose of ascertaining what dangers, if any, there may be in doing anything which he or she proposes to do under that power.

(4) Where under the power conferred by subsection (1)(s) an inspector takes possession of any article or substance found at or in any place of work, he or she shall if it is practicable for him or her to do so, take a sample thereof and give to a responsible person at the place of work a portion of the sample marked in a manner sufficient to identify it.

(5) An inspector shall not enter a dwelling other than—

( a) with the consent of the occupier, or

( b) in accordance with a warrant from a District Court issued under subsection (7) authorising such entry.

(6) Where an inspector in the exercise of his or her powers under this section is prevented from entering any place, an application may be made to the District Court for a warrant under subsection (7) authorising such entry.

(7) Without prejudice to the powers conferred on an inspector by or under any other provision of this section, if a judge of the District Court is satisfied on the sworn information of an inspector that there are reasonable grounds for believing that—

( a) there are any articles or substances being used in a place of work or any records (including documents stored in a non-legible form) or information, relating to a place of work, that the inspector requires to inspect for the purposes of the relevant statutory provisions, held in, at or on any place or any part of any place, or

( b) there is, or such an inspection is likely to disclose, evidence of a contravention of the relevant statutory provisions,

the judge may issue a warrant authorising an inspector, accompanied by such other inspectors or such other competent persons as may be appropriate or members of the Garda Síochána as may be necessary, at any time or times, within one month from the date of issue of the warrant, on production of the warrant if requested, to enter the place, if need be by reasonable force, and perform the functions conferred on an inspector by or under the relevant statutory provisions.

(8) An inspector, where he or she has reasonable cause to apprehend any serious obstruction in the execution of his or her duty or otherwise considers it necessary, may be accompanied by a member of the Garda Síochána or any other person authorised by the Authority, when performing any functions conferred on an inspector by or under the relevant statutory provisions.

(9) No person is required on examination or inquiry under this section to give any answer or information tending to incriminate that person.

(10) Where an inspector upon reasonable grounds believes that a person has committed an offence under the relevant statutory provisions he or she may require that person to provide him or her with his or her name and the address at which he or she ordinarily resides.

Annotations:

Modifications (not altering text):

C18

Application of section extended and references construed (29.03.2019) by European Union (Port Services) Regulations 2019 (S.I. No. 128 of 2019), reg. 6.

6. (1) Sections 64, 65 and 66 of the Act of 2005 shall apply and an inspector may exercise any of the powers specified in those sections for the purposes of -

(a) ensuring compliance by providers of port services with the health and safety aspects of Article 14 of the EU Regulation, and

(b) the investigation of complaints to the Health and Safety Authority received under Regulation 5(1).

(2) For the purposes of paragraph (1) and subject to any necessary modifications, section 3 of the Act of 2005 shall apply to the service of a notice or other document required or authorised to be served under sections 64, 65 and 66 of that Act.

(3) For the purposes of paragraph (1), a reference to the “relevant statutory provisions” in section 64 and section 66 of the Act of 2005 shall be construed as including the requirement, under Article 14 of the EU Regulation, for providers of port services to ensure that employees receive the necessary training on health and safety matters which is essential for their work.