Why you must be follow Health and Safety Rules



The principle objective of the Health and Safety in Employment Act or HASE is to prevent harm from occurring to employees while they are at work. It does this by imposing a wide range of responsibilities on employers and managers to develop systems.

You have legal responsibilities to your staff and any breach of these could result in legal action against you as an individual, resulting in heavy fines. You are obliged to show that you have taken “all practicable steps” to provide and maintain a safe working environment by using the following procedures:

  • Hazard identification and control
  • Provide information, training and supervision
  • Accident reporting and investigation
  • Emergency procedures Principles, contractors and subcontractors

The Health and Safety in Employment Amendment Act which came into force on May 5th 2003, increased the accountability of the employer. As an employer you need to be aware of the processes and duties introduced in these reforms and the practical implications. You now have a duty to involve your employees in health and safety matters. You will need to develop a system to comply with this duty.

If you employ more than 30 people, or an employee requests it, this system must have been devised and implemented by 5th November 2003. There is flexibility but if you din not set up your own systems by this date the system set out in the act incorporating health and safety representatives will apply.

You will need to review all your company’s existing health and safety and employment policies. You must be able to share information with Health and Safety Representatives as well as employees.
Ensure you have:

  • A procedure for monitoring fatigue and minimising the potential stress caused by over work. Overtime and rostering are carefully reviewed.

  • A process for supporting employees who indicate they have a stress issue and for assisting those who have to work in stressful environments.

  • A system of support for trainees, volunteers and people such as those on work experience.

As an employer or company owner it is prudent to become familiar with the processes by which the health and safety representatives can issue hazard and infringement notices. Make sure you and your line managers are aware of and able to address such issues and deal with the process.


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