Health and Safety Compliance in the Workplace
The relevance of Health and Safety compliance in the workplace was catapulted into the spotlight during Covid but the reality is that it has always been such an important facet of employment relationship. All Irish Companies and Employees must adhere to health and safety regulations at work. It guarantees that workplaces are secure and healthy for Employees, lowering the chance of mishaps and injuries, and fostering efficiency and production.
The Act in brief
The primary legislation set out to govern this is The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act of 2005, which outlines the duties and entitlements that apply to both Employers and Employees for support of health and safety in the workplace.
The general duties of an Employer under the Act include the following:
• General Duties of Employers
• Information to Employees
• Instruction, Training & Supervision of Employees
• Emergencies and serious and imminent dangers
• Protective and Preventive Measures
• Hazard Identification on & Risk Assessment
• Safety Statement
• Health Surveillance & Medical fitness to work.
• Safety representative
• Employee Consultation
The Safety Statement
One of the first places to start in your health & safety journey and probably the most fundamental and important way to identify hazards and risks and ultimately address them, is through the development of a Safety Statement.
All Employers must have a Safety Statement relating to their workplace and work activities. The importance of this document is more than meeting compliance requirements but is a written document which specifies how health and safety is going to be managed within the business and it is the very foundation of effective health
and safety management in any business.
The Safety Statement will also contain your policy and risk assessments and the controls required to minimise the risks from the hazards in the workplace, as well as detailing the names of those responsible for putting them into practice.
The Safety Statement must be reviewed and, if necessary, amended as required. It is essential that the review takes place annually or where changes arise in your business. For example, the frequency of the review may be dictated by virtue of exposure to new hazards, this could include everything from the introduction of new work practices, or new equipment, to where there is reason to believe that the Safety Statement is no longer fit for purpose due to changes to health and safety arrangements and resources, or a near-miss incident.
The Safety Statement must be brought to the attention of the Employees and to any other persons at the place of work who might be exposed to the specific risks outlined in the document. When bringing the Safety Statement to the attention of Employees, it must be in a form, manner and, if necessary, a language that can be understood by everyone.
World Day for Safety and Health at Work – 28th April 2023
As a timely reminder for this important issue of both Employee and Employer occupational health and safety, this month hosts The World Day for Safety and Health at Work which takes place on the 28th of April 2023.
Tragically more than 2.3 million deaths occur annually as a result of occupational diseases or accidents, which results in 6,300 deaths every day. Every year, there are 317 million workplace accidents, many of which necessitate lengthy absences from work. The human cost of this everyday adversity is enormous, and the annual economic cost of bad practice is estimated to be 4% of the world GDP(1).
Closer to home a report(2) from the Health and Safety Authority published at the end of 2022 released provisional annual statistics for 2021 and revealed a 30% reduction in work-related fatalities. Thirty-eight people sadly lost their lives in 2021 compared to 54 in 2020 representing the lowest figure since the Authority was established over 30 years ago. Cork, Dublin, and Wexford recorded the highest level of fatalities with 5 in each county, while Kilkenny, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Monaghan, Roscommon, Waterford, and Westmeath reported none.
The news of a reduction in fatalities in Ireland is welcomed however vigilance in Workplace Health and Safety is never to be underestimated and each year a structured and thorough audit of every workplace and their daily practices is essential.
How can we help?
Health and safety compliance not only ensures the welfare of Employees but also the efficiency of enterprises. So, while Employers are responsible for ensuring they abide by the applicable laws and their workers have a safe and healthy workplace, so too must Employees follow their Employer’s instructions, take responsibility for their health and safety, and report any hazards or occurrences. Employers and Employees may together build a secure and productive workplace that benefits all parties and keep statistics to an ever-lowering figure.
At Adare Human Resource Management, we offer a comprehensive range of Health, Safety, and Welfare services to Organisations throughout Ireland, ensuring you are supported with your health and safety compliance needs.
If your Organisation needs advice, support, or guidance in relation to Health & Safety or indeed any HR issues, please contact Adare Human Resource Management call (01) 561 3594 or email email@example.com.
More information on Shannon Chamber HR -> https://www.shannonchamber.ie/services/shannon-chamber-hr/
Adare Human Resource Management is a team of expert-led Employment Law, Industrial Relatons and best practce Human Resource Management consultants.