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We provide Safety Statement Consultancy for small, medium and large businesses and organisations both throughout Dublin and wider Ireland.
A Safety Statement in simple terms is a Health and Safety Management System that must contain specific procedures and risk assessments which will manage health and safety effectively for you, your employees and anyone else affected by your business operations in accordance with Health and Safety legislation.
Your Safety Statement must be a relevant working document which, when implemented will make a real difference to the management of health and safety in the workplace.
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Your Safety Statement must be site specific to your business activities, in order to be legally compliant .Many unqualified and incompetent persons complete generic Safety Statements for businesses, These safety statements are illegal.
Failure to have a relevant up-to-date, site specific Safety Statement can result in the Health and Safety Authority initiating criminal proceedings against Directors and Senior Managers who on indictment can receive €3 million euro fines and / or up to 2 years in jail. The provisions for these offences is made under the Safety, Health and welfare at Work Act 2005. There is a specific onus and responsibility on Directors and Senior Managers and this is laid out under Section 80 of the Safety, Health and Welfare Act 2005.
As part of your Safety Statement, you should have a Risk Assessment. They both go hand in hand and are required under sections 19 and 20 respectively of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005. We carry out both services as part of our Safety Statement service.
Safety Statement Process
1. Develop Health and Safety Policies and Procedures.
The Safety Statement should contain a management declaration. This is essentially a written commitment to the implementation, management and review of the Safety Statement,
There should be appropriate policies stating what is to be done and procedures detailing required steps or processes.
Some examples of these in your Safety Statement would include.
- Management Responsibilities
- Employee Responsibilities.
- Health & Safety Training
- Employee Well Being /Welfare.,
- Accident Reporting and Investigation.
- Fire Safety
2. 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 follow 5 steps.
Step 1: Identify Hazards
The first step in safeguarding the safety, health and welfare of employees and other parties affected by the organisations work activities is to identify what the hazards are. A hazard is something which has the potential to cause harm.
Step 2: Decide who may be harmed and what the harm could be.
This could include employees, contractors, members of the public etc.
Step 3: Assess the Risks and Develop Controls for the Risk
The risk should be assessed as low, medium or high and appropriate controls selected in accordance with the general principals of prevention.
The general principles of prevention start at avoiding the risk first then reducing the risk. Lastly come the provision of training and Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) where appropriate.
Step 4: Record Risk Assessment Findings
The Risk Assessment must be recorded and included within the Safety Statement.
Step 5: Review Risk Assessment.
The Risk Assessment should be reviewed at least annually or more frequently should the work activities change, or if a Health and Safety Authority Inspector requests so.
3. Implement Safety Statement
Once complete the Safety Statement should be implemented at all levels throughout the organisation.
There should be adequate personnel, resources and commitment to the implementation of the Safety Statement.
Staff should be inducted / have the Safety Statement and Risk Assessment brought to their attention at least annually or when significant changes occur.
4. Review Safety Statement
A review mechanism needs to be implemented in line with our above recommendations.
This will be at least once per year but more frequently as appropriate as we have stated.,
Safety Statement Benefits
Benefits of a Site Specific Safety Statement which we provide include,
Firstly and most importantly protection of employees health, safety and well being as well other personnel affected by the organisations activities.
Secondly 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.
Thirdly economic benefits where the organisation can save financially such as reduced accidents and subsequent reduction in insurance premiums and compensation payouts etc...
Once can see that good 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.
Safety Statements in Ireland
Safety Statements were a legal requirement for all employers since the original Safety, Health and Welfare Act 1989. Since the Introduction of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 with tougher penalties and a greater focus and clarity concerning health and safety at work, they are regarded as the starting point and absolute requirement for all organisation irrespective of size.
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