Safety, Health and Welfare At Work Act, 1989

Powers of inspectors.

34.—(1) An inspector shall have power—

(a) to enter, inspect, examine and search at all times, any place which he has reasonable cause to believe is used as a place of work;

(b) to take with him a member of the Garda Síochána if he has reasonable cause to apprehend any serious obstruction in the execution of his duty;

(c) to take with him any other person authorised by the Authority or the relevant enforcing agency or equipment or materials required for any purpose for which the power of entry is being exercised;

(d) where he has reasonable cause to believe that at or in any place of work an offence under this Act has been or is being committed, to use reasonable force where necessary in order to enter the place of work, provided he is so authorised by a warrant of a Justice of the District Court (which such Justice is hereby authorised to issue upon reasonable grounds being given on oath);

(e) to make such examination and inquiry as may be necessary to ascertain whether the relevant statutory provisions are being complied with;

(f) to require the production of any books, registers, records (whether kept in manual form or otherwise), certificates, notices, documents, maps and plans, required to be kept pursuant to any of the relevant statutory provisions, or any other documents which it is necessary for him to see for the purposes of any examination or inquiry under this Act and to inspect, examine and copy them or require that a copy of them or of any entry therein be provided to him;

(g) to require any person whom he has reasonable cause to believe to be able to give information relevant to any examination or inquiry under this Act, to answer either alone or in the presence of any other person, as he thinks fit, such questions with respect to matters under this Act as he thinks fit to ask and sign a declaration of the truth of the answers given, provided that no one shall be required to answer any question or to give any evidence tending to incriminate himself;

(h) to direct that any place of work or part thereof and anything therein shall be left undisturbed for so long as it is reasonably necessary for the purpose of any examination or inquiry under this Act;

(i) as regards any article or substance he finds at or in a place of work, require the employer or any person he finds at the place of work or any person who appears to him to be in possession of the article or substance, to supply without payment, for test, examination or analysis sufficient samples thereof;

(j) to cause any article or substance found at or in any place of work which appears to him to have caused or to be likely to cause danger to safety or health, to be dismantled or subjected to any process or test (but not so as to damage or destroy it unless this is in the circumstances necessary for the purposes of this Act) and where an inspector proposes to exercise the power conferred by this subsection in the case of an article or substance found at or in any place of work, he shall, if so requested by a person who at the time is present at or in and has responsibilities in relation to that place of work, cause anything which is to be done by virtue of that power to be done in the presence of that person;

(k) in relation to any article or substance found at a place of work in accordance with paragraph (j) to take possession of it and detain it for so long 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 has power to do under paragraph (j);

(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;

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

(m) to take any measurements or photographs or make any tape, electrical or other recordings which he considers necessary for the purposes of any inspection, examination or inquiry made by him under this Act;

(n) to require any person to afford him such facilities and assistance within his control or responsibilities as are reasonably necessary to enable him to exercise any of the powers conferred on him under this Act; and

(o) to exercise such other powers as may be necessary for carrying out his functions.

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

(3) Where under the power conferred by subsection (1) (k) an inspector takes possession of any article or substance found at or in any place of work, he shall if it is practicable for him 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.

(4) (a) The Authority may designate in writing any inspector who is a registered medical practitioner as an occupational medical adviser.

(b) It shall be the duty of an occupational medical adviser, on behalf of the Authority, to receive any notice, report or certificate required by any of the relevant statutory provisions to be sent to the Authority by a registered medical practitioner.

(c) An occupational medical adviser may—

(i) invite any person who, in his opinion, either has been or may be exposed in the course of his work to any risk of bodily injury or other danger to his health; and

(ii) for the purpose of comparing with that of other persons the state of health of persons employed in different places of work or specified places of work or in different places in the same place of work, invite any person

to provide biological samples or to be examined medically, or both, at such place as he shall designate, either by him or on his behalf or by or on behalf of such other registered medical practitioner as he shall specify.