IMPACT trade union has secured an agreement for an independent review of the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for staff working at the Oberstown youth detention centre in Dublin.
Discussions between the union and the Department of Children and Youth Affairs took place earlier today (Thursday 22nd December 2016), at which it was agreed to appoint an independent health and safety expert to review “the potential requirements and protocol for PPE usage or other arrangements which equally reduce the risk of staff injury.”
IMPACT national secretary Eamonn Donnelly said the agreed review will be carried out as a stand alone process “and as a matter of absolute priority”, to be concluded during January 2017. Mr Donnelly said IMPACT has deferred scheduled strike action, due to take place from 3rd January 2017, in order to allow the review to take place, and be completed within the agreed timeframe.
Mr Donnelly added, “The agreement today represents a significant breakthrough, which only became possible when we made it clear our members were prepared to take strike action on the issue. Until now the employer was absolutely opposed to any consideration of PPE.
“The review process agreed today will incorporate the views of stakeholders, which includes our members working at Oberstown. IMPACT has fought on this issue in order to secure the safety of the men and women who work at Oberstown, and to secure a safer environment for those in their care,” he said.