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For employers in Ireland, the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 states you must have a valid and relevant Safety Statement for your business or organisation.
A Safety Statement is a written document, signed and dated by the employer, and sets out how the employer will safeguard
The Safety Statement is a live working document which expresses the employers commitment from the highest level of management to ensure the safety and health of their workforce. Furthermore, it commits the company to providing the resources necessary to maintain safety and health laws and standards.
All Safety Statements must be site specific to the business activities for which they are written. Despite this, many so called professional firms offer generic Health and Safety Statements for businesses -These are both dangerous and indeed illegal.
Failure to have a relevant up-to-date, Safety Statement can result in the Health and Safety Authority initiating criminal proceedings against owners, Directors and Senior Managers of those offending firms.
A Safety Statement is a Safety Management System compromising of relevant health and safety policies and procedures aimed at safeguarding employees and other parties affected by the organisations activities. A Safety Statement should also include a Risk Assessment which identifies the hazards, risks, type of risk, people at risk and control measures for managing the risk. A Safety Statement is a legal requirement under section 20 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.
Every employer in Ireland irrespective of employee number must have a Safety Statement in place. Some organisations which are based internationally confuse this requirement as in some countries there is a minimum employee number or sector requirement before a Safety Statement is required. In Ireland this is not the case and it is an absolute requirement for all employers.
Your Safety Statement should be updated at least annually
It may have to be updated more frequently if any of the following apply.
The Safety Statement should be brought to the attention of all employees annually or more regularly if it is changed or updated. Other stake holders should also be familiar with it such as contractors, tenants / landlord in a multi tenanted building etc..
1. Draw up a Health and Safety Policies and Procedures.
The Safety Statement should firstly have a management declaration which is a written commitment to the implementation, management and review of the document. It is signed by the most Senior Manager / Director.
There should be Health and Safety policies and procedures.
These typically are included within the Safety Statement and may cover.
2. Carry out a Risk Assessment
Section 19 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 places a duty on all employers to carry out a Risk Assessment.
A Risk Assessment should
Step 1: Identify Hazards
The first step to protect the safety, health and welfare of employees and other parties affected by the organisations work activities starts with hazard identification. This identifies what the hazards are. A hazard is something which has the potential to cause harm.
Step 2:Who will be harmed and why.
Persons could obviously include employees but also contractors, members of the public etc..
Step 3: Assess the Risks and Develop Controls.
The risk should be assessed as low, medium or high.
These can be completed subjectively or objectively and methods such as 3x3 and 5x5 matrix are commonly used. Subjective may be fine for low risks but generally objective / quantitative risk assessment is the gold standard,
The general principles of prevention commence looking at avoiding the risk first which obviously makes sense. Where it is not possible to avoid the risk then reducing the risk should become the priority. After successful avoidance / reduction of risk appropriate training and . or Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) may have to be considered.
Step 4: Record Risk Assessment Findings
The Risk Assessment findings must be written, recorded and included within the Safety Statement. The format of the Risk Assessment should follow the 5 steps.
Step 5: Review Risk Assessment.
The Risk Assessment should be reviewed at least every 12 months. It may have to be reviewed more frequently should changes occur or if a Health and Safety Authority Inspector request so.
Your Safety Statement should be implemented once complete and signed off upon.
In terms of implementation the appropriate finances personnel and resources will require utilisation.
A review mechanism needs to be implemented as we have covered already. This will be at least every 12 months but sooner should any changes occur or a direction be made by a HSA Inspector.
Benefits of a Safety Statement which we provide include,
Protection of employees health, safety and well being as well other personnel affected by the organisations activities.
Additional legal protection for the organisation such as reduced likelihood of criminal / civil prosecution due to the fact he workplace will be safer when the Safety Statement is active and implemented.
Economic benefits where the organisation can save financially such as reduced accidents and subsequent reduction in insurance premiums and compensation payouts etc...
Positive Health and Safety management not only protects people from harm but in equal measure contributes to organisational and commercial success. Smart organisations recognise this and embrace health and safety compliance.
ADSC Limited provides Health and Safety Statement Consultancy for small, medium and large businesses and organisations, having been in the business of safety in the workplace for the past 10 years.
We offer our tailored services using only health and safety specialists, thereby ensuring the highest levels of professionalism and affordability.
We would welcome the opportunity to submit a proposal for the development of your organisation's Safety Statement.
To enable us provide you with a Safety Statement quote please provide the following information.
Number of employees
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