Limerick medical records staff threaten strike over safety conditions

Friday 9th September 2011

Clerical and admin staff in the medical records department at Mid-West regional hospital, Dooradoyle, this week voted unanimously in favour of strike action over unsafe working conditions.

The ballot was held after the working condition in the department deteriorated to the extent that staff were at risk of injury when trying to retrieve records from unsafe filing bays, window ledges and floors.

IMPACT says the problem has been apparent for several years, but matters have deteriorated rapidly over recent weeks to the extent that it is no longer safe for members to work in this area.

IMPACT’s Health & Welfare divisional executive committee is expected to authorise the commencement of industrial action early next week.

The dispute will be discussed with national HSE management at a national staff panel meeting on Monday 12th September. A further local meeting with management is scheduled in Limerick on 21st September.

If firm proposals are not set out by the HSE on or before 21st September, with binding commitments to relocate to new safe premises, IMPACT may have no other option than to instruct members to commence industrial action including strike action.

Management within MWRH have today given commitments to clear all large files using outside contractors over the weekend, to secure contingency funding to address the health and safety risk, and to bring forward plans for a long term solution by 21st September. IMPACT has welcomed this commitment but has told management that if firm proposals have not been agreed by 21st September industrial action will have to take place.

One of the longstanding problems that must be addressed is that the access to the existing medical records department can only be gained by walking through an acute surgical ward posing an infection control risk to patients and staff.

IMPACT has 18 members in clerical and admin grades in this department. Balloting for strike action is a courageous step for such a small group of members and messages of support from colleagues in other areas would be most welcome. They can be sent to

Further updates will issue on the progress of this dispute.