The Act assigns responsibilities and duties to all parties involved in workplace safety and health. Employers, who have the greatest influence on risk, have the greatest range of duties to satisfy, but employees, designers, manufacturers and owner/occupiers also have duties under the Act.
In addition to establishing new duties for workplace safety and health, the Act also provides for a maximum penalty of €3 million and/or up to two years in prison for breaches of health and safety legislation.
Employee duties and rights
23/03/2017 - Employees are protected under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 and afforded rights as an employee. However, employees also have legal duties imposed on them by the legislation which can consitute an offence if not complied with.
01/03/2017 - An employer is defined in the Act as a person with whom the employee has entered into a contract of employment and a person under whose control and direction an employee works, which means that the duties of the employer apply to all managers who have staff working under their direction or supervision.
Guidance and Codes of Practice
01/03/2017 - The HSA has the authority to produce guidance notes and codes of practice. This document looks at the difference between the two types of publications and what they mean for the employer.
Health and Safety Authority
01/03/2017 - The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) is the state sponsored body that has the responsibility for securing safety, health and welfare at work in Ireland. The role of the HSA entails both administration and enforcement functions. Most employers will be familiar with the concept of HSA’s enforcement role which involves site inspections, accident investigations and initiating prosecutions. However, the HSA have a much more detailed brief than enforcement. The HSA produce many publications free of charge to assist employers, employees and self-employed persons to manage health and safety. The HSA also has a helpline where employers and employees can phone for advice on particular aspects of health and safety compliance. .
Overview of SHWW Act 2005
01/03/2017 - The Act is made up of a number of parts which include duties regarding health and safety, how health and safety legislation will be enforced and what penalties apply for failure to comply with the law.
01/03/2017 - An employer is prevented from penalising employees, if an employee is acting within their rights as stipulated under health and safety legislation.
01/03/2017 - This document helps employers in reviewing their current health and safety training needs.
Competent person for health and safety
01/02/2017 - Every employer must appoint a 'competent' person to co-ordinate health and safety management. Their title may be safety officer, safety advisor, safety manager or they may incorporate health and safety as part of their normal functions for example as HR, finance or production manager but the role is referred to in the legislation as a 'competent person'.
Case Law on responsibilities of managers and senior executives for health and safety
04/03/2016 - There have been significant prosecutions in Ireland in the past that show the enforcing authority and the DPP are more aware of the specific focus of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 (2005 Act) on health and safety being managed at and from a corporate level.