Unannounced inspection found Moy Park site had ‘high standard’ of Covid measures

A recent unannounced inspection at the Moy Park site where an employee who died of Covid-19 worked found no major issues.

The employee has been named as 58-year-old Luciana Viviana Da Silva. Ms. Da Silva worked at the firm’s plant in Dungannon, Co. Tyrone.

The Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland (HSENI) offered its condolences to the family and friends of Ms. Da Silva.

“Discussions are currently ongoing with the employer to understand the circumstances,” the statement from HSENI read.

HSENI is currently carrying out unannounced inspections to businesses across Northern Ireland. Priority is being given to sectors such as food processing companies and sites where repeated complaints have been received.

“We can confirm that a recent unannounced inspection was carried out at a Moy Park meat processing plant.”

It stated added that “a few minor issues” were found; however, the overall compliance with the Public Health Agency Covid-19 guidance was noted to be of a “high standard”.

“We would remind all employers that they have a legal obligation to provide a safe working environment for their staff. If employees or trade unions have concerns they are encouraged to contact HSENI.

“Where it is known that a person who has had Covid-19 has been in a workplace the areas where they worked should be cleaned in accordance with PHA guidance,” it added.

‘Food heroes’

A spokeswoman for Moy Park said: “We are deeply saddened to learn of the death of one of our team members. Our thoughts are with Luciana’s family and friends at this incredibly difficult time.

“The terrible impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues to greatly affect everyone’s daily lives throughout our community.

“As we have consistently stated, the health, well-being and safety of our Moy Park team members is always our most important consideration.

Moy Park worked quickly with all key parties (government, industry bodies, employees and unions) as the Covid-19 crisis unfolded.

“We evolved our actions to create and implement bespoke solutions early on, with many of them now recognised as leading the way for food processors.

“The key significant measures taken included the following:

  • Installation of perspex screens.
  • Social distancing / team member traffic flow on-site.
  • Staggered breaks / socially-distanced restaurants.
  • Enhanced cleaning and additional PPE.
  • Incentive payments to all site-based team members.

“These measures have been in place for some time at all our sites and are stringently followed. These are also exactly the type of measures that government guidance is now calling for as other industries return to work.

We continue to consult, evolve and review our measures to ensure rigorous safety; for example, we are in the process of introducing thermal temperature scanning of all team members as they arrive at work.

“We reiterate, Moy Park follows all government guidelines and work closely with the Public Health Agency, DAERA and the Health and Safety Executive, adhering strictly to their advice and protocols.

“We have received positive feedback following a recent unannounced inspection by the HSE that was conducted at one of our other sites, which has the same measures in place to those at Dungannon.

“The inspection focused solely on the controls which we have in place to ensure employee safety in relation to Covid-19. We will continue to update our procedures in line with their guidance.

“We work tirelessly to protect the safety of our team and we formally review the situation daily. Finally, we just want to say how incredibly proud we are of all of our people, who truly deserve the name of being ‘food heroes’, as they aim to help feed the nation during this crisis.”