As it is Workers’ Memorial Day today I wanted to mark the occasion by acknowledging the 520 workers who have died due to work-related accidents in the past 10 years and those who have been seriously and catastrophically injured.
All too often, I meet with clients who have been seriously injured, or husbands, wives, parents or children of someone who died in workplace accidents. On this day, it seems timely to remind employers and employees of their duties in relation to health and safety.
The main pieces of legislation surrounding health and safety in the workplace are Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act 2005 and 2010. They outline both employers and employee’s duties.
Employers duties include providing and maintaining a safe workplace, preventing risks from use of any article or substance, preventing improper conduct or behaviour, providing health and safety instruction and training, providing protective clothing and equipment and appointing a competent safety officer.
Employees duties extend to taking reasonable care to protect themselves and colleagues in the workplace, to not engage in improper behaviour, to not be under the influence of drink or drugs, to undergo medical assessments and to report any defects in the workplace.
While some accidents can be prevented, unfortunately far too many others are not. However, if employers and employees alike aim to increase their understanding of workplace hazards and implement greater risk control we could see a reduction in workplace injuries and fatalities.
Ronan Hynes is a Health and Safety Advocate and Partner at Keating Connolly Sellors. If you wish to obtain legal advice on worker’s rights, safety and welfare or if you or a loved one has endured a workplace accident, contact Ronan at [email protected] or call +353 (0)61 414 355 or +353 (0)61 432 348.
The material contained in this article is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other professional advice. We advise people to always seek specific expert advice for their individual circumstances.