Archive RSS
Blog  »  February 2017  »  The importance of health and safety in the workplace - Blog
Feb 17

Posted by
Jennie Hussey

The importance of health and safety in the workplace

A High Court Judge has awarded a Dunnes Stores Deli worker €182,000 in damages after she fell on grease on the floor of her work station. The Judge said the accident was “eminently foreseeable” therefore making the employer negligible for not providing her with a safe place to work.

The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Acts 2005 & 2010 entail details of specific health and safety laws which apply generally to all employments.

Employer Duties

In order to prevent workplace injuries the employer is required, amongst other things, to:

  • Provide & maintain a safe workplace which uses safe plant and machinery
  • Prevent risks from use of any article or substance and from exposure to physical agents, noise and vibration
  • Prevent any improper conduct or behavior likely to put the safety, health and welfare of employees at risk • Provide instruction and training to employees on health and safety
  • Provide protective clothing and equipment to employees
  • Appoint a competent person as the organisation’s Safety Officer

Employee Duties

The duties of the employees include the following:

  • Take reasonable care to protect the health and safety of themselves and others in the workplace
  • Not engage in improper behaviour that could endanger themselves or others
  • Not be under the influence of drink or drugs in the workplace
  • Undergo any reasonable medical or other assessment if requested by employer
  • Report any defects in the place of work or of equipment which may be a danger to the health and safety of those in the workplace

Every employer is required to carry out a Risk Assessment for the workplace under the Act. This should identify any hazards present in the workplace, assess the risks arising from such hazards and identify the steps needed to be taken to deal with the risk. The employer must also prepare a Safety Statement which is based on the Risk Assessment, employees should be given access to the Safety Statement and the employer should review it regularly.


BrightPay - Payroll Software

Bright Contracts - Employment Contracts and Handbooks