Health and Safety
According to section 08 of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, every employer is required to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees. An employer's duties include:
- Managing and conducting work activities in such a way as to prevent, so far as is reasonably practicable, any improper conduct or behaviour likely to put the safety, health or welfare at work of his or her employees at risk;
- The design, provision and maintenance of plant and machinery or any other articles that are safe and without risk to health;
- Ensure the safety and the prevention of risk to health at work of his or her employees relating to the use of any article or substance or the exposure to noise, vibration or ionising or other radiations or any other physical agent.
The Act also imposes a duty on employees to take precautions for their own safety, to co-operate with safety rules, and to report any defects or safety hazards. (www.citizensinformation.ie/en/employment/employment_rights_and_conditions/health_and_safety/health_safety_work.html)
Employer must provide safety equipment to his workers and implements the necessary protection in accordance to the working conditions. In case where risks cannot be eliminated or adequately controlled, it is employer’s duty to provide and maintain such suitable protective clothing and equipment as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees.
Employer is also required to ensure that personal protective equipment (PPE) is provided for the use of employees where risks to health and safety of workers at the workplace can’t be avoided or limited by technical means of collective protection or other measures of work organization. Employer has to ensure that the PPE is maintained at all times in good working order and in a satisfactory hygienic condition by means of storage, maintenance, repair or replacement.
(Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 S.8; S.I. No. 299/2007 - Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 Regulation 62-67)
Employers are required to provide the information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health, and welfare at work of his or her employees. Adequate safety, health and welfare training includes, in particular, information and instructions relating to the specific task to be performed by the employee and the measures to be taken in an emergency. These should be provided in a form, manner and language that is likely to be understood by the employee concerned and during the time off from their work and without loss of remuneration. The above training has to be provided to the employees (a) on recruitment; (b) in the event of the transfer of an employee or change of task assigned to an employee; (c) on the introduction of new work equipment, systems of work or changes in existing work equipment or systems of work, and (d) on the introduction of new technology.
(Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act S.10)
Labour Inspection System
Irish labour inspection system entails two major inspection bodies, namely the Health and Safety Authority (HSA), which enforces occupational safety and health related legislation, and National Employment Rights Authority (NERA), which enforces legislation in relation to general working conditions. The NERA inspectors monitor and enforce compliance with certain employment conditions for all categories of workers and are responsible for enforcing the Industrial Relations Act, Protection of Young Workers Act, Organisation of Working time Act, Parental Leave Act, Carers Leave Act, and the Employees (Provision of Information and Consultation) Act.
The HSA inspectors, on the other hand, enforce all relevant statutory provisions set out in safety, health and welfare legislation; promote, encourage and advise employers and employees in relation to health and safety training, promote and encourage measures aimed at the prevention of accidents, dangerous occurrences and personal injury at work; provide information and advice on matters relating to safety, health and welfare and promote the implementation of best practice methodologies and processes.
(Ireland Labour Inspection Country Profile by ILO)
Regulations on Health and Safety
Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005
Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Applications) Regulations 2007