What are my responsibilities as an employer under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005?

Section 6 of the act requires every employer to ensure so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of his/her employee’s
Employers must provide:

  • safe place of work
  • safe systems of work
  • adequate training
  • adequate supervision
  • protective clothing where required
  • the service of competent persons in relation to health and safety
  • safety statement and review on a regular basis

Do I need to give a copy of the safety statement to every employee?

The safety statement must be accessible to all employees and the sections of the safety statement relevant to the employees must be brought to their attention, with particular regard to the specific hazards, risks and prevention measures concerning their particular job.
The safety statement must be brought to the attention of all employees at least annually.

I only have one employee; do I need a safety statement?

If an employer who employs 3 or fewer employees is engaged in an activity for which there is a code of practice for that type of activity, they can fulfil their duty in relation to safety statements by complying with such code of practice. This only applies where specific code(s) of practice are issued by the Health and Safety Authority.
The Health and Safety Authority has not yet issued such codes of practice and the provisions of section 20 of the 2005 Act apply in full to all employers.

My company had a Safety Statement done in 2001. Is this still ok?

No, health and safety legislation was updated in 2005 with amendments added in 2006 and 2007. Your safety statement needs to be reviewed and updated to comply with current legislation.

What is a Safety Data Sheet (MSDS)?

A Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS) is a document containing detailed information as regards the protection of human health, safety and the environment. The MSDS provides appropriate information on classified substances and preparations down the supply chain to the downstream users.

What is working at height?

It means working in a place (except a staircase in a permanent workplace) where a person could be injured by falling from it, even if it is at or below ground level.

The Work at Height Regulations applies to all places of work where there is a risk of a fall liable to cause personal injury. These regulations cover employers, self-employed, employees and members of the public.

Access to and from a place of work can also be classed as work at height.

Examples of work activities that are classified as working at height:

  • Working on a ladder or stepladder;
  • Working on trestle platforms;
  • Working on a flat roof;
  • Erecting false work or formwork;
  • Working at ground level adjacent to an excavation;
  • Working on formwork within an excavation;
  • Working near or adjacent to fragile materials.

Examples of working activities that are NOT classified as working at height:

  • Walking up and down a protected staircase in an office;
  • Working in an office on the upper floors of a temporary accommodation building;
  • Work carried out by private individuals on their own homes where this is not for the purpose of business or trade.

What is a confined space?

Confined Space refers to any place, including any vessel, tank, container, pit, bund, chamber, cellar or any other similar space which, by virtue of its enclosed nature, creates conditions that give rise to a likelihood of an accident, harm or injury.

What are the key characteristics which define a confined space?

The key characteristics of a confined space are:

  • the space must be substantially enclosed
  • the risk of serious injury from the hazard must be created by virtue of the enclosed nature of the space
  • the potential injury must be serious and be such as to require emergency action to rescue the person involved.

What are the hazards associated with confined spaces?

The hazards associated confined spaces include:

  • Toxic Atmosphere
  • Oxygen Deficiency
  • Oxygen Enrichment
  • Flammable or Explosive Atmospheres
  • Flowing Liquid or Free Flowing Solids
  • Excessive Heat

My company is considering taking on students under the age of 18 for work in the summer months. Is there any extra considerations I should I consider?

An employer should carry out a separate risk assessment in relation to an employee under 18 years of age. This risk assessment should be carried out before the young person is employed. If certain risks are present, including risks that cannot be recognised or avoided by the young person due to factors like lack of experience, the young person should not be employed.

What is the minimum recommended space in an office per person?

In offices 4.65 square metres should be the minimum amount of floor space allowed for every person employed in any room to include the area occupied by the office desk and chair but excluding filing cabinets and other office furniture.

Places of work other than an office or similar:
At least 11.3 cubic metres is provided for each person at work in a room at any one time. When calculating the volume, no space more than 4.3 metres from the floor should be taken into account.

Is there a maximum temperature for an office?

There is no maximum temperature stated under the regulations but as a guideline a minimum comfortable working temperature for indoor sedentary workers is 17.5 degrees centigrade and upper level for comfort is 27 degrees centigrade (when undertaking light duties).

In the absence of a legal maximum temperature, when we experience hot weather and employees become uncomfortable, then Employers should act reasonably and should consider some or all of the following:

  • Allowing employees to open windows, remove jackets and ties etc.
  • Supplying desktop fans and access to cold water

Can I book a course with Amanza online?

Yes, you can book online with us. Go here to see available dates and secure your place.

What is Amanza's payment, cancellation and refund policy?

If you cancel your course place within 72 hours, you will be entitled to a half refund.

If you cancel within 24 hours or fail to turn up on the day of the course, no refund will be given.

Only payment in full will secure your course place.