The Health and Safety Authority

Who has responsibility for health and safety at work in Ireland?

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has responsibility for the administration and enforcement of health and safety in the place of work. Working with employer and worker representatives, it seeks to ensure that those in control of workplaces adopt safe working practices as required by law. The HSA is a state-sponsored body established by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

What legislation governs health and safety in the work place?

The Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act, 1989, established a framework where employees and employers can work together in maintaining their health and safety. The HAS was established under the terms of the act. The HAS monitors compliance with legislation at the workplace and can take enforcement action. They have the power to inspect all places of work, ensuring compliance with the law, carry out research, provide information services and develop new laws and standards.

Who makes the policies?

A board of eleven people makes policies, with a three-year term of office. They represent the social partners and other interests concerned with health and safety in the workplace, and includes nominees by the Minister and trade unions.

How common are accidents in the place of work?

In 1999, more than 33,000 occupational injuries were reported. Of these, 23,700 occurred in men. There were 200 amputations and 69 deaths.

How safe is the Irish workplace?

A total of 8,729 inspections were carried out in 1999. Enforcement notices were applied in 18% of these inspections. Less than half of the organisations inspected by the HSA last year had a Safety Statement. This is an organisation's written programme for safeguarding safety and health. The HSA believe that the low performance was due in part to the poor performance in the construction sector and the rapidly increasing numbers employed.

Where are the HSA headquarters?

The HSA headquarters is based in:

10 Hogan Place,

Dublin 2.

Telephone 01 6620400.

Regional offices are located in Athlone, Cork, Drogheda, Galway, Limerick, Sligo and Waterford.

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