The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has published its Strategy Statement 2019-21 and Programme of Work 2019

The HSA has outlined five strategic priorities which will direct their activity for the period 2019-21:

• Increase focus on compliance through risk based inspection and enforcement (Regulate)
• Support, educate and raise awareness to prevent accidents, injuries and ill health (Promote)
• Grow the national accreditation service to enable and support enterprises and public services (Accredit)
• Partner and collaborate in support of healthy, safe and productive lives and enterprises (Influence)
• Improve the way we work through people, processes and technology (How we work)

Key elements
Some of the key elements of the HSA’s Programme of Work 2019 include:

• Health and social care: Priority sectors for 2019 will be agriculture, construction and health and social care. The HSA have noted that while agriculture and construction have always been at the forefront of the annual programmes of work, health and social care is being given a higher priority this year. This is because the health and social care sector has very high rates of nonfatal injury and absence related to hazards such as work related violence and aggression, stress and manual handling.
• Inspections: The HSA has proposed its intention to conduct return inspections to businesses that were inspected in the past three years where prohibition notices and/or improvement notices were given.
• Brexit: The HSA intends to continue to provide a full range of supports and advice to Irish companies in the run up the UK exit from the EU on 29 March 2019.
• Accreditation: The value of independent accreditation will be promoted to enterprises in both the public and private sector, and the range of services provided by INAB will be expanded.

Speaking at the launch of the new strategy, Minister Pat Breen commented on the HSA’s preparations ahead of Brexit stating, “I am pleased to see that much work has already been undertaken by the HSA to help Irish businesses prepare for Brexit, particularly small and medium sized enterprises. The accreditation function of the Authority will be particularly important in helping industry deal with the possible impacts of Brexit. Working in close partnership with other state agencies, the work of the Authority will continue to feed into broader government activity in helping get Ireland Brexit ready.”

Commenting on the HSA’s focus on long term occupational health risks, Dr. Sharon McGuiness, Chief Executive Officer of the HSA said “Occupational health can be a challenge for many organisations where the long-term or hidden nature of some health issues, for example in relation to stress or exposure to carcinogens, can be difficult to identify and manage. The Authority will focus resources in this area in an effort to ensure that employers and employees are aware of the issues and have the information and knowledge to meet their responsibilities.”

Tom Coughlan, Chairperson of the HSA, commented on the strategy’s focus on accreditation, saying “This strategy ensures that the Authority and the Irish National Accreditation Service are fit for purpose and will continue to play a pivotal role in the performance of successful enterprises.”

The expected outcomes of this strategy are:
• Reduced rates of work-related deaths, injuries and ill health
• Employers actively engaged in managing occupational health, safety and welfae
• Workers actively engaged in protecting themselves and their colleagues at work Increased public awareness of how to avoid and manage the risks to health arising from applicable products and chemicals
• Increased awareness and use of INAB accreditation services to promote business excellence and sustainability and to support regulation in essential areas
• People and organisations proactively engaged and satisfied with Authority programmes, tools and services
• National interests represented during proposals for and transposition of EU directives and regulations
• The Authority to be a high-performing organisation evidenced by high levels of staff engagement and motivation, an ability to adapt to the changing environment, the optimal use of state resources and positive stakeholder relationships
• Active engagement by other organisations in supporting the work of the Authority through memoranda of understanding and service-level agreements
• Effective holding to account of those who fail in their duties under legislation enforced by the Authority

Download the Strategy Statement 2019-21

Download the Programme of Work 2019

Read the Press Release