Health and Safety

Health and safety is one area where the legal obligations for managing risk are particularly demanding. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 every employer is required to prepare a safety statement for the workplace.

This statement should:

  • Identify any hazards present in the workplace
  • Assess the risks arising from such hazards
  • Identify the steps to be taken to deal with any risks.

The statement should also contain the details of people in the workforce who are responsible for safety issues. Employees should be given access to this statement, and employers should review it on a regular basis. It can be helpful, in order to avoid misunderstandings, to ensure all employees and volunteers sign a compliance form when they join the organisation that they have had the safety statement explained to them, that they have had a chance to ask questions and that they understand it.

The governing body of your organisation should review the safety statement annually...

 

The governing body of your organisation should review the safety statement annually, and it would be good practice to include that fact in your annual report. The Health and Safety Authority provides many useful publications in this area.

If your organisation is involved in the preparation of food then you need to be aware that new food regulations have been enforced since January 2006, requiring that all food handlers work to a HACCP (Hazard Analysis Critical Control Point) plan. For more information on the various standards associated with food preparation you should contact the Food Safety Authority of Ireland.