Irish Health and Safety Authority strategy to focus on SMEs
18 February 2013
The Irish Health and Safety Authority will focus on reducing the regulatory burden, recognising the changing world of work and reaching out to small businesses over the next three years.
At the launch of the HSA’s new strategy for the period, Authority chief executive, Martin O’Halloran said the regulator’s efforts to assist and support small businesses will continue, following on from its ‘Taking Care of Business’ initiative and online safety tool BeSmart.ie.
He added: “The work we have done to promote the benefits of safe and healthy workplaces has increased levels of awareness and knowledge. This has helped to highlight a wider realisation that less accidents mean less costs in terms of insurance premiums, sick pay, compensation, fines and all of the other costs associated with accidents in the workplace.”
The Irish Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton TD, emphasised the importance of acknowledging the difficulties facing Irish businesses.
He said: “There is a need to find efficiencies but not at the expense of the safety, health and welfare of workers. The collaborative approach adopted by the Authority, using targeted inspections and compliance tools, is designed to encourage buy-in from all stakeholders.
“It is important that trends in workplace accidents and ill health continue downwards.”
In 2013, the HSA aims to carry out 12,850 targeted inspections and investigations across all sectors, with a particular focus on high-risk industries such as agriculture and construction. The high fatality rate in the former is a big concern for the Authority, which plans to carry out some 3,000 farm visits and awareness campaigns this year.
The same number of inspections – 3000 – is planned for the construction sector.
Copies of the HSA Strategy Statement 2013 – 2015 can be downloaded from http://www.hsa.ie/eng/Publications_and_Forms/Publications