The Health and Safety Authority has published its “Programme of Work for 2017” providing details of planned actions, priorities and inspection targets for the year. This year there are a total of 11,220 workplace inspections and investigations planned, a slight increase on the 2016 target of 11,165 inspections. At 4,000 planned inspections, the construction industry will receive the highest number of visits and site inspections will focus on preventing accidents involving self-employed workers and small-sized contractors.

Despite the ongoing high number of farm fatalities, farm inspections are down 300 from the 2016 figure, with 2,000 planned inspections for 2017. The HSA will continue promoting safety on farms in 2017 through participation in knowledge-sharing and discussion groups. An updated Farm Safety Code of Practice will also be published.  A key theme of the HSA’s safety and health programme will be new and returning workers. This group has been identified by an ESRI study as being four times more likely to experience a workplace injury than those with a tenure of over five years. During the course of inspections issues such as training, induction and supervision will be addressed.

Statistics from the CSO show that work-related illness now represents more days lost across the whole economy than work-related injury. There will be an emphasis on work-related health activities including the promotion of positive mental health and reduction of work-related stress. The HSA will also continue to contribute to the Government’s “Healthy Ireland” initiative.

This year marks the tenth anniversary of the introduction of the REACH (Registration, Evaluation and Authorisation of Chemicals) Regulation and the European Commission will finalise its review. The HSA plans to hold a joint conference with the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation to recognise this milestone.

Click here to view the breakdown of planned investigations and compare with previous years.

Click here to download the HSA’s 2017 Programme of Work (pdf).