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Workers Memorial Day For everyone with an interest in the safety, health and welfare of people at work, April 28th is an important date. It’s the date every year when trade union and employer groups worldwide, as well as individual organisations, remember those who have been killed or injured in work-related accidents. In Ireland the figures are staggering. In the 5 year period between 2010 and 2014, 253 people have been killed in work-related accidents and many thousands more badly injured. Last year alone 56 people were killed. These are shocking statistics by any standards. Colleagues from Congress, Ibec and the Health & Safety Authority will join together to mark the occasion with a national commemoration event in Dublin. We are asking you, as a key stakeholder, to join the efforts nationally. To the mark the day there are a range of initiatives that your organisation should consider including:

  • Get involved by using the national Workers’ Memorial Day Ireland logo on your website, social media presence, presentations, email signatures, displays and in offices and workplaces
  • In-house training sessions or a toolbox talk
  • Website/Social Media/Newsletter content
  • Guest speaker presentation to your staff
  • Press release to your local/national media marking your event / the day
Worker safety and health is everyone’s business and can only be tackled through a collaborative approach. April 28th presents an important opportunity to remember and to consolidate everyone’s focus around a single day. It will be an annually recurring national event. Please mark the date in your calendar and make the commitment to contribute to this most important challenge. For more information see www.hsa.ie

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Electrical Inspection CoverElectrical installations, if not properly maintained, can kill, injure and cause serious property damage. In Ireland, people are killed almost every year from contact with, or as a result of electricity. This Guidance-Note aims to assist employers, employees and others put in place a suitable regime for periodic inspection and testing of electrical installations to reduce the possibility of harm arising from the electrical installation in a workplace. Year: 2015 Download: Guidance-Note on Periodic Inspection and Testing of Electrical Installations.pdf (1179 KB) For more information see www.hsa.ie

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Main Sponsor: esb IWEA's Annual Health & Safety Event will take place on Thursday 11th June 2015. The event will take place in the Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel, Malahide Road, Co. Dublin. This event has significantly grown in size and popularity since 2011. On the day we will hear from a number of influential speakers on the challenges professionals are facing in the area of health & safety in the wind industry at this point in time. You will also hear from key stakeholders and policy makers and will have the opportunity to shape their views through a variety in interactive sessions. This event promises to be both thought provoking and practical, ensuring attendees leave informed on topical issues. Not to be missed. This event provides great opportunities for network and business development, in particular through exhibition and sponsorship opportunities. Sponsorship and Exhibition Opportunities NOW AVAILABLE. For any queries on any of the above please contact Irene Canty irene@iwea.com or on +353 (0)45 899341. For more information, see www.iwea.com

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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 linkhttp://consultation.hsa.ie/general-applications/Quarries-Regulation2014/. 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 linkhttp://consultation.hsa.ie/general-applications/Onshore-Offshore-Drilling-Regulation2014/. 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 linkhttp://www.hsa.ie/eng/Topics/Safety_Alerts/Lorry_Mounted_Crane_Alert.html

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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 www.hsa.ie/education. - See more at: http://www.hsa.ie/eng/News_Events_Media/News/Press_Releases_/Employers_Urged_to_be_Extra_Vigilant_with_Young_Workers_on_Summer_Jobs.html#sthash.9uV9Lvr8.dpuf

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IWEA Annual Health & Safety Event 2014 - "Irish Wind Energy Association - Powering Safety" IWEA's Annual Health & Safety Event will take place on Thursday 12th June 2014. The event will take place in the Hilton Dublin Airport Hotel, Malahide Road, Co. Dublin. This event has significantly grown in size and popularity since 2011. On the day we will hear from a number of influential speakers on the challenges professionals are facing in the area of health & safety in the wind industry at this point in time.  You will also hear from key stakeholders and policy makers and will have the opportunity to shape their views through a variety in interactive sessions. This event promises to be both thought provoking and practical, ensuring attendees leave informed on topical issues. Not to be missed. This event provides great opportunities for network and business development, in particuler through exhibition and sponsorship opportunities. Click here for more information.

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Inspections of high risk sectors and support for SME sector key themes in 2014 Tuesday 11th February The Health and Safety Authority has today, (Tuesday 11th February), published its 2014 programme of work, which gives details of its priorities, initiatives and inspection numbers for the year. Two of the Authority’s main priorities are to reduce the numbers killed and injured in agriculture and to reduce the high level of deaths involving vehicles in the workplace. Both of these areas are where the majority of fatal accidents have occurred over the last number of years. Of the 11,520 inspections and investigations planned across all sectors, there will be 2,900 in agriculture, 2,500 in construction, 1,200 in chemicals, 700 in manufacturing and 800 inspections to help raise awareness in small businesses. The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD said, “It is important to recognise the difficulties facing all businesses. The collaborative approach adopted by the Authority, using targeted inspections and compliance tools, is designed to encourage buy-in from all stakeholders as part of good sustainable business practices. As we implement the Action Plan for Jobs, rebuild the economy and create employment it is important that trends in workplace accidents and ill-health continue downwards”. Martin O’Halloran, CEO of the Health and Safety Authority said a sustained reduction in workplace accidents cannot be achieved by enforcement activity alone, “While we welcome a 25% reduction in agriculture fatalities last year, we believe that behavioural change is the key to achieving year-on-year low accident rates in all sectors. This year we will continue to make compliance easier and promote the benefits of working safely. It’s not about restrictive work practices and increased costs, good health and safety performance is actually the opposite.” Michael Horgan, Chairman of the Authority, believes that the targets set for this year are ambitious but achievable, “I believe that we can deliver what is a very comprehensive programme, reaching across all sectors. While, like all public services, we are working with reduced resources, our inspection and awareness raising activities are making a positive impact on Irish workplaces.” Other priorities include promoting chemical safety with the objective of protecting human health and the environment while supporting and enhancing industry competitiveness. The Authority will also continue its focus on the “workers of the future” with a range of programmes aimed at primary, secondary and third level students. Copies of the Programme of Work - 2014 can be downloaded from www.hsa.ie. - See more at: www.hsa.ie

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Concern at high number of workplace fatalities occurring in Cork County has recorded highest number of workplace deaths over last four years 10th April 2014 Following a detailed review of workplace deaths, the Health and Safety Authority has today (Thursday 10th April) expressed serious concern at the high number of workplace fatalities that have occurred in recent years in County Cork. During 2012 there were nine people killed in work-related accidents in Cork; five in the fishing sector, two in construction, one in agriculture and one in public administration. Last year, 2013, saw a worsening picture with twelve people killed in work-related accidents in the county; six in agriculture, four in construction, one in education and one in fishing. Waterford and Dublin were the counties with the next highest number of deaths with four in each. Speaking about the alarming number of deaths, Brian Higgisson, Assistant Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority said that the fatality numbers in Cork have been consistently higher compared to any other county for the last number of years. “We usually analyse fatalities by economic sector but we cannot ignore the fact that for five of the last six years there have been more fatalities in Cork than in any other county. We have a significant presence in the county and our inspections cover all sectors, we plan to carry out additionalinspections across the county this year. We will also provide support to stakeholder initiatives in addressing the situation.” “While inspections and enforcement are important, increased awareness and good workplace safety practice will reduce accidents. I would encourage self-employed people to give priority to safety in their work activities and I would ask employers and employees to work together to make all workplaces safer. The approach of our inspectors is to work with and help those who want to improve and to take enforcement action only where absolutely necessary.” The trend in relation to high risk industry sectors in Cork is reflected nationally. The agriculture, fishing and construction sectors, which largely involve self-employed individuals, are the most hazardous sectors to work in regardless of location. There is a high concentration of dairy farms in Cork and research shows that this type of farming is highly pressurised and potentially hazardous. Also, fishing and construction are important industries and are identified as high risk activities. This year the Authority will roll out specific inspection and awareness campaigns targeted at those sectors. There have been twelve fatalities nationally so far this year, with two in Cork; one in agriculture and one in construction. For free workplace health and safety guidance and information, contact the Health and Safety Authority on LoCall 1890 289 389 or visit www.hsa.ie. - See more at: www.hsa.ie

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