Health & Safety in the Workplace
The health, safety and welfare of employees in Ireland is governed by national legislation , much of which is derived from European Directives.
The primary piece of legislation governing the duties of employers to keep their workforce safe and healthy is the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005.
There are also a significant number of regulations that apply to places of work within Ireland which provide more details of the regulatory requirements under primary legislation (Acts). The most significant regulation is the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations, 2007 which contains many of the provisions that apply to almost all workplaces
Never before has it been as important for employers to be up to speed with current legislation as the responsibility falls squarely on the employer in the event of accident or injury in the workplace.
a)Training and Communication.
Paramount in any modern work environment must be the training of staff in the carrying out of their duties.
Any employer that is remiss in his /her obligation to have their staff properly trained by a qualified instructor leaves their selves open to a myriad of time consuming, and sometimes very expensive situations which with a little common sense and fore sight are easily avoidable.
b) Managing Health and Safety
For successful management of health and safety in the workplace there are a number of key elements to consider. For many organisations the focus can be on having the right documentation in place but correct documentation is only the first step. The mechanisms of communication and consultation in an organisation play a major role in making sure that the documentation works properly. Following are some of the key issues employers must tackle to ensure successful health and safety management.
c) Accident Management and Investigation
Accidents can have a huge impact on both the business and your employees. Good accident management will ensure that any lessons to be learnt from an occurrence derive maximum benefit to the organisation and more importantly prevent reoccurrence in the future.
d) Fire and Emergency Planning
Effective fire and emergency planning can be the difference between life and death in more than one sense. There are minimum fire and emergency requirements set down for every Irish business in the legislation and these are outlined below.
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 (the “2005 Act”), together with the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations, 2007 (the “2007 Regulations”) and the Fire Services Act, 1981 (the “1981 Act”)