The Health & Safety Authority
Supporting Employers to Safeguard Employee Health and Safety
The vision of the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is to ensure healthy, safe, and productive lives and enterprises. In the longer term, they want to realise a safe and healthy working life for people in Ireland and to foster an environment where businesses can grow and prosper. The HSA want to ensure that providers of services and products are accredited thereby enhancing the confidence of their customers and clients.
Free Resources available to manage Health, Safety and Welfare
To promote health and safety and create better awareness of health and safety requirements for Irish businesses, the HSA has developed a range of free online resources that are easy to use:
BeSMART.ie is a free and easy to use resource. To access and use the platform you need to register for a free account. The system only requires an email and password. Creating an account allows you to save and retrieve your work.
BeSMART.ie is broken into a simple 5 step process:
- Step 1 – Profile creation
- Step 2 – Business selection and hazard profiling
- Step 3 – Risk assessment – hazard identification and risk assessment
- Step 4 – Consultation and review
- Step 5 – Download and manage
Full details on https://www.besmart.ie/
SunSMART Employee Information Leaflet
The information sheet is written primarily for employees and safety representatives to raise awareness about the risk of skin cancer from sun exposure. Read the information sheet here.
New Code of Practice for Indoor Air Quality
The Code of Practice for Indoor Air Quality provides practical guidance as to the observance of the provisions of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 299 of 2007), as amended by S.I 255 of 2023. This Code of Practice comes into operation on 26th May 2023. Notice of the publication of this Code of Practice was published in Iris Oifigiúil on 6th June 2023.
Use Chemicals Safely – Read the Label
The ‘Use Chemicals Safely – Read the Label’ information sheet provides information about how to read the label on containers – in particular, understanding the dangerous properties of a chemical. The information sheet also provides information about hazard pictograms.
Using Chemicals safely at home and in the garden
The ‘Using Chemicals safety at home and in the garden’ information sheet provides guidance about the safe use of chemical in both the home and garden.
Information Leaflet: Risk Assessment of Chemical Hazards
This leaflet is intended to help employers in assessing the risks that relate to chemical agents in the workplace and in determining adequate precautions or control measures to safeguard health and safety.
This portal provides free online courses covering a range of work sectors and topics including workplace safety, health and welfare induction, psychosocial risk and work-related stress (WRS), chemicals safety, farm safety and more. Browse the range of available courses by topic and sectors of employment on https://hsalearning.ie/
Work Positive is free to use, easy to administer and completely confidential. The survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete and the results can be accessed online. The Work Positive tool/process is based around a four-stage approach:
- Prepare: Build a business case, secure commitment, and establish your steering group
- Measure: Identify risk and opportunity within your workplace using the survey tool
- Action Plan: Explore and prioritise the key actions, develop your action plan
- Review: Review progress and revitalise your Action Plan
Consultation and Safety Representatives
Active worker engagement in safety and health reaps dividends for a company and ensures greater protection for all. Under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005, employees can put their name forward to be selected by their colleagues to act as their Safety Representative. The Safety Representative provides a direct link between the employer and employees on safety and health matters. For further information go to:
- HSA website
- HSA – Safety Representatives Poster
- HSA – Safety Representatives Information Sheet
- Short course for Safety Representatives
- HSA – Safety Representatives and Safety Consultation Guidelines
- Short introductory 2-minute video available on the HSA YouTube channel.
Workplace Safety, Health and Welfare Induction
The online ‘Workplace Safety, Health and Welfare Induction’ developed in partnership with Atlantic Technological University (ATU) Sligo has just been launched, aimed at supporting employers to deliver induction to new employees. The online induction comprises a suite of short awareness-raising courses which can be used along with workplace-specific training. The online induction can be accessed on the HSA eLearning portal and on the ATU Free Courses portal at Workplace Safety Health and Welfare at Work Induction.
This online course is suitable for new employees, people returning to the workplace after a break, and students on work experience. It is also a useful refresher course for employees.
The Workplace Safety, Health and Welfare Induction consists of 8 units covering a range of health and safety areas designed to help employees to stay safe while at work. Units 1 and 2 are compulsory and cover key employer and employee roles and responsibilities as well as work-related stress. Units 3 to 8 are optional and can be selected as appropriate to the specific work environment. Topics include – manual handling, ergonomics, housekeeping in the workplace, chemical safety, workplace transport safety, and noise and machinery. Certificates and digital badges are provided to learners. The Units range from 20 minutes to 45 minutes to complete.
A certificate is awarded to participants for completing Units 1 and 2, and for each of the optional Units 3-8. An assessment must also be completed at the end of each Unit. Digital badges are also awarded for Unit completion and for completing the course in full.
Occupational Safety and Health Guidance for Remote Working
The HSA are delighted to announce the launch of the ‘Occupational Safety and Health Guidance for Remote Working’. Remote working refers to work activities undertaken away from the employer’s normal work premises including in a domestic setting or a remote working hub. The responsibility for safety and health at work rests with the employer regardless of whether an employee works remotely or at the employer’s premises. Employers must provide a safe work environment and, in doing so, assess the risks and ensure appropriate controls are in place to safeguard employees at work.
The Occupational Safety & Health Guidance on Remote Working provides guidance for employers and employees on roles and responsibilities in relation to remote working, and the remote working risk assessment process. It is the employer’s responsibility to proactively ensure that the assessment is completed for each employee by a suitably trained, competent person and account is taken of changing circumstances. The assessment involves a three-step process.
- You can view guidance here.
- A standalone ‘Remote Working Assessment Checklist’ is available here.
- The HSA website also provides further information about remote working. Please see here.
Reporting of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences
All employers and self-employed persons are legally required to report the injury of an employee due to an accident in the workplace here. Injuries must be reported if an employee is unable to carry out their normal work for more than three consecutive days, excluding the day of the accident.
- See the new Fire extinguisher safety checks information checks here.
- Crystalline Silica Dust – Information Sheet here
- View all information sheets and publications here.
Website & Contact Centre
When you visit https://www.hsa.ie/eng/ and you can find:
- Articles on relevant topics
- Collection of HSA publications
- Clarification and information on relevant legislation
- Information on specific HSA lead and partnered campaigns
The Contact Centre provides additional support on a myriad of technical, industry specific and general issues. It is the second link in the chain of support mechanisms that the HSA provides and available from 09:00 – 15:00 by phone: 0818 289 389 and by email: [email protected].