Archive for June, 2014

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The HSA has launched a public consultation on proposed new Quarries and Onshore/Offshore Drilling Regulations. Quarries Regulations The draft Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Quarries) Regulations are intended to revise the Quarries Regulations 2008 (as amended by the Quarries Amendment Regulations 2013), which they will when enacted replace.  The HSA’s approach in developing the new regulations is to be welcomed. The draft regulations follow the format of the 2008 Regulations and the consolidate in one set of regulations the rules relating to quarrying. The changes proposed in the draft Regulations provide for: ·        Improved safeguards in relations to the use of explosives ·        Quarry operators who have ceased operations for a temporary period to notify the Authority that operations have ceased thus relieving the operator of the requirement to comply with the regulations until recommencing operations ·        Greater clarity in the definition of quarry and quarry operations. The draft Regulations also reflect the changes consequent on the dissolution of FAS and the establishment of SOLAS and take account of changes in the Construction Regulations 2013. The Authority believes that the new Regulations will improve compliance and enforcement. As there are no major new requirements the Regulations are not seen as imposing any significant additional costs. The draft Regulations can be downloaded by clicking on the following link As well as reading the draft Regulations, readers should also read the Regulatory Impact Assessment and the Case of Regulatory Intervention documents, which provide helpful information about the rationale for adopting the new Regulations and identify the proposed changes. Onshore/Offshore Drilling Regulations The HSA has launched a public consultation on the draft Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Onshore and Offshore Drilling) Regulations 2014 which are intended, when enacted, to: ·        Facilitate the repeal of the Extractive Industries Regulations 1997 ·        Simplify and create a modern regulatory framework for the onshore and offshore drilling industries. The Regulations will re-transpose the provisions of the EU ‘Directive on the Minimum Requirements for Improving Safety and Health Protection of Workers in the Mineral Extracting Industry through Drilling’ (Directive 92/91/EEC). In the Regulatory Impact Assessment the Authority expresses the view that the proposed Regulations will be welcomed by the industry and will not create any new obligations or costs for employers. The draft Regulations can be downloaded by clicking on the following link As well as reading the draft regulations, readers should also read the Regulatory Impact Assessment and the Case of Regulatory Intervention documents, which provide helpful information about the rationale for adopting the new Regulations and identify the proposed changes. A set of three The proposed Onshore/Offshore Drilling Regulations will the Authority says facilitate the repeal of the current Extractive Industries Regulations. In a briefing document, the ‘Case for Regulatory Intervention’ the Authority makes the point that the new Regulations will come into effect simultaneously with the proposed Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Mines) Regulations, which are currently being finalised with input from Parliamentary Counsel and the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation. When the process is completed there will be three regulations – Quarries, Mines and Onshore/Offshore Drilling Regulations – governing the extractive industries and all falling within the framework of the SHWW Act 2005 and consistent with the General Application Regulations 2007. Safety Alert Following a recent fatal accident the HSA has issued a safety alert about Low Mounted Cranes. The warning emphasises the need for such cranes to be examined and certified by a competent person before being put into use for the first time at a place of work or if the crane is new that it is CE marked. The alert also draws attention to the need for a thorough examination by a competent person every 12 months. To read the alert click on the following link

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11 June 2014

The Ireland Branch of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) held its annual conference today (June 11) in the Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare.

Sean B
The theme of this year’s symposium, ‘Working Together for Risk Prevention – Bring Your Boss’, highlighted why employers should view health and safety as a business benefit rather than a drag on profits.
Around 100 delegates heard about the Institution’s Life Savings campaign – an initiative which is encouraging Irish businesses to save money, boost productivity and increase efficiencies by intelligent investment in health and safety. According to IOSH, the Irish economy is losing €3.2 billion per year and the cost of health and safety failures per worker in Ireland is €1711 because of workplace injury and ill health.  This equates to a staggering one million lost working days each year. IOSH Ireland Branch chair Michelle Peate-Morgan said: “As well as the primary aim of saving people's lives and livelihoods, good occupational health and safety can also deliver vital cost savings and help a business to grow. “The smartest companies get professional advice on health and safety. Prevention is better than cure. IOSH membership is the hallmark of professionals with the right qualifications, experience and know-how,” she added. IOSH has unearthed examples of employers saving millions of Euros and is encouraging businesses to follow in the footsteps of companies like Janssen, Alkermes, and Integrated Communications. One of the most impressive examples is Cork-based Janssen Pharmaceutical, part of Johnson & Johnson. It saved €2 million during the upgrade of its powder handling facility. Design improvements resulted in a reduced risk of ergonomic issues, the elimination of cleaning at heights and changes in the assembly and disassembly of heavy equipment. Operator and Safety Representative Michael Daly said: “The initiative was successful because everyone’s voice was heard – regardless of which part of the business they worked in. “One of Johnson and Johnson’s credo values is to look after the welfare of workers and this project has delivered on this from a health and safety perspective. We were also able to demonstrate that health and safety is a key element of all of our business activities.” Image: CEO Supply workflow, Sean Beirne speaking at the conference.

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Employers Urged to be Extra Vigilant with Young Workers on Summer Jobs Thursday 29th May

With the summer holidays now underway, for thousands of students around the country, the Health and Safety Authority is today (Thursday 29th May) urging employers to be extra vigilant when it comes to taking on young workers for the summer. It is estimated that, although young people constitute only 4% of the workforce, injuries to them represent around 10% of all reported injuries. Figures from the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work indicate that young people are at least 50% more likely to be hurt at work than older more experienced workers so it's vital that employers understand the added risk involved with employing teenagers and young inexperienced workers. Furthermore, young people often get jobs in sectors such as hospitality which expose them to a higher risk of workplace injuries.
Employers should:
  • ensure young workers are given the appropriate training and clear instructions,
  • encourage young workers to ask questions and raise concerns when they have any,
  • provide any necessary PPE (personal protective equipment), and
  • closely supervise young workers, especially when undertaking higher risk activities.
Young workers should:
  • follow any training and instructions as communicated by the employer,
  • ask questions if in any doubt,
  • be aware of their rights, and where to seek help,
  • get help from a colleague when necessary, e.g. when lifting something heavy, and
  • report any accidents or 'near misses' immediately.
Robert Roe, Assistant Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority says that employers are responsible for protecting young workers, "Accidents don't just happen, our research shows that the vast majority of accidents can be prevented with some forward planning and common sense. Young people, possibly entering the workforce for the first time, are at an early stage in developing the necessary skills and awareness levels so employers need to pay special attention to them, particularly around their training and induction." "Summer jobs are a fantastic way for teenagers to learn new skills and gain experience that will stand to them as adults. We want all young people to have fond memories of their early jobs so it's vital that they and their employers are aware of the risks around workplace accidents and take the necessary precautions and safeguards." There is a lot of useful guidance and information for both employers and young workers to help reduce the risks at work can be found on the Authority's website at - See more at:

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