In the modern world, Health & Safety legislation gained great importance, especially considering the emergence of new occupations and intensive development of the production sphere. Adhering to the principles of H&S laws, our company solves the range of problems, for example:
- guarantees the protection of employees from harmful and dangerous factors that can make them unable to work,
- reduces the costs of the production process,
- eliminates the loss of working hours, which may result in serious money losses,
- avoids the claims and financial sanctions from supervisory institutions designed to monitor conformity with occupational health and safety legislation,
- improves the productivity and quality of personnel.
What Is The Role of H&S Professional?
For these purposes, a company hires a H&S safety expert or uses the services of specialized organizations like Coyle Group. The main duties of the expert or employment health and safety agency are:
- development and implementation of a customized H&S documentation,
- Provision of great safety professionals on a consulting or resourcing basis
- Measuring your company against our “company performance safety standard” system
- Developing with you a specific safety strategy for your company
- cooperation with government institutions like Health and Safety Authority (HSA), Health and Safety Executive (HSE), etc.
What Is The Function of H&S Statutory Body?
The role of government institutions is to ensure the conformity with health and safety legislations. The Health and Safety Authority is Irish authorized institution in the H&S area. This national body was established in 1989 by Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work Act, which is the most important law that regulates H&S relations between employer and employees (the newest addition was established in 2005). The Authority also operates on the basis of other Acts, Regulations and Orders, and Codes of Practice. Some laws, like Factories Act (1955), were established long time ago when the notion of occupational health and safety hasn’t been properly defined. Other regulations were developed in accordance with the needs of modern times, for example, Organization of Working Time Act (1997), Exposure to Asbestos – SI 589 (2010).
Another important document that must be mentioned is Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations (2007), additionally the Safety, health and welfare (construction regulations) 2013 are a key document. Generally they can be applied in almost every workplace, for example, Provision and Use of Personal Protective Equipment, Electricity, Work Equipment, Provision and Use of Display Screen Equipment, Protection of Pregnant, Post Natal and Breastfeeding Employee, Protection of Children and Young Persons, First aid, roles of clients, contractors, designers, etc
Headquartered in Dublin, Health and Safety Authority has many responsibilities, among which: conducting inspections of working positions, eliminating violations of working conditions, organizing and stimulating research and publications in employment safety and health area, developing new laws and regulations in this area, informing employers and employees about their rights and duties concerning H&S at work, etc.
What Are The H&S Obligations of Employers?
The managers whose competence includes organization and certification of workplaces must remember that the requirements of occupational health and safety legislation apply to all companies, regardless their organizational and legal form, including private entrepreneurs. The strict adherence to these requirements is an important part of the production process organization, especially in the fields where certain factors can be considered potentially harmful or dangerous to human health, for instance, fishing, mining, retail, construction, healthcare, agriculture, manufacturing, entertainment, etc.
The Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work Act (2005) obliges an employer to fulfill a number of duties, the list of which includes:
- to observe health and safety legislation, including the rules for the organization of workplaces and monitoring their compliance with the current regulations,
- to ensure safe working conditions for each employee engaged in the economic activities of the company, regardless his professional duties,
- to implement instructions to remedy violations of job-related health and safety discovered by controlling authorities,
- to ensure constant monitoring of the workplaces, and certifying them,
- to provide pieces of training, instructions, and supervision, when necessary,
- to supply protective clothes and equipment when risks cannot be excluded,
- to obtain when necessary the help of a proficient expert for the purpose of securing occupational health and safety.
An important part in observing the requirements of H&S legislation is played by personnel training. It must be provided in understandable language and minimum once, at the recruitment stage. It also has to be conducted when a worker is introduced to a new equipment, process or technology. Assessment of individual workplaces is another primary employer’s duty. It implies assessing working conditions from the employees’ safety point of view. To compile the list of activities designed to bring working environment in line with regulatory requirements, you can contact Coyle Group specialists. Our consultants are always happy to offer a quality health and safety advice.
What Are The H&S Obligations of Employees?
According to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act (2005), employees have the following duties:
- to adhere to the obligations of occupational health and safety laws: orders, regulations, rules and instructions,
- to apply the means of individual and collective protection (clothes and equipment) properly,
- to attend training in safe work performance and first aid. They must get instruction on job-related safety requirements during on-job training and undergo assessment if required.
- not to perform any actions that put in risk their lives or endanger others,
- to immediately notify their managers of any situation or accident that has occurred in the workplace, as well as the defect in the workplace that puts in risk their lives and health or endangers other people.
Violation of Health and Safety Legislation
Violation of occupational safety and health laws leads to material and criminal responsibility. If the contravention of legislation is tried summarily, the maximal fine is €5,000 per charge. The penalty can be substituted or supplemented by imprisonment up to twelve months. If the case is heard in Circuit Court, the penalization may be increased to €3,000,000 and the custody may be prolonged up to two years.