Learn More

Safety Representative

project_managementIntroduction  

In this section you will find information and guidance to help you fulfill your role as a Safety Representative. We have included the most relevant documentation that will help you expand your knowledge in these areas. Further information and guidance is also available to download at our publications section on the Health & Safety Authority webpage. 

 

Active worker engagement reaps dividends for a business and for greater protection for all

 

Why have a safety representative in your business?

  • Employers must consult with their employees on safety, health and welfare matters and they can use a safety representative or safety committee as a means to do so
  • Safety representatives can play an important role in promoting safe and healthy workplaces
  • Getting employees involved can help bring about better ways of working
  • Considering and valuing people's opinions will motivate them to work with others to make things safer and healthier for all
  • Involving employees in developing and reviewing ways of working or work procedures is the best way of ensuring they will be implemented and followed
  • Workers are doing the job, so have key knowledge of work practices
  • Seeing progress on promotion of good safety, health and welfare will give further motivation

 

Why be a safety representative?

  • Being a safety rep or a member of a safety committee allows you to get involved in promoting and developing better work practices
  • You will be able to represent your colleagues in consultations with your employer on safety, health and welfare
  • You do not need to wait until you are asked, you can put your name forward to be selected by your colleagues as their safety representative 
  • As a safety representative you will have functions but you will not have additional duties (only those that apply to all employees)
  • You cannot be held legally accountable for proposals you deal with

 

What the law says

  • Employers must consult with employees and employees must cooperate with their employer
  • On a construction site where there are more than 20 persons employed at any one time, the project supervisor for the construction stage must facilitate the appointment of a safety representative
  • Safety representatives and members of a safety committee must know and understand how to carry out their role; the employer must arrange for training where needed

Safety representatives can play an important role in promoting safe and healthy workplaces and preventing accidents and ill health 

 

A safety representative will represent their colleagues in consultations with their employer on safety, health and welfare at their workplaces and in the role are entitled to receive information and to carry out inspections and investigations. More information on these functions is given below

and in the role are entitled to receive information and to carry out inspections and investigations. More information on these functions is given below

Consultation / Representation

  • Represent their colleagues in consultations with their employer on safety, health and welfare at their workplace
  • Receive advice and information from Health & Safety Authority (HSA) Inspectors in relation to safety, health and welfare in the workplace
  • Consult and liaise with other safety representatives in the same workplace

Inspections

  • Carry out an inspections at a frequency or on a schedule agreed with the employer
  • Inspect the whole or part of the workplace, having given reasonable notice to their employer
  • Carry out an inspection following an accident, dangerous occurrence or imminent risk
  • The inspections carried out may include a review of documentation as well as a walkabout
  • Have an opportunity following inspection to discuss the safety, health and welfare matters in confidence with the safety committee or employees that they represent
  • Accompany an Inspector from the Health & Safety Authority when inspecting the workplace
  • At the discretion of the HSA Inspector, may be present when an employee is being interviewed about an accident or dangerous occurrence

Investigations

  • A safety representative can carry out an inspection following an accident or dangerous occurrence in the workplace to help identify any necessary remedial or preventative measures, but:
  • Safety representatives must not interfere with anything at the scene of an accident or dangerous occurrence
  • Safety representatives must not obstruct an investigation being carried out by a Health & Safety Authority Inspector

Information

  • Safety representatives and members of any safety committe must be given the information they need so that they can fulfil their functions properly

safety_filePublications on Consultation and Safety Representation

INFORMATION SHEET on Becoming a Safety Representative

 

 

  • a Information Sheet on Becoming a Safety Representative (PDF, 269KB)

GUIDELINES on Safety Representation and Consultation

 

 

 

  • a Guidelines on Safety Representatives and Consultation (PDF, 1009KB)

RESOURCE BOOK 

 

 

 

FAQs

  • ...link to FAQs re S/Rs on HSA website.....

BeSMART.ie as a Resource for Safety Reps

 

In addition to helping employers to generate a safety statement for their business, BeSMART.ie is also a resource for information on workplace safety, health and welfare that is available to all

Safety Representatives can use BeSMART.ie to get very useful information.

 

Get Information on Hazards and Control Measures

  • Select the type of business you work in
  • You will be presented with a variety of hazards that may be relevant to the workplace
  • You can select any hazard to view the recommended measures to control the workplace hazard

Print Checklists

  • Select the type of business you work in
  • You will be presented with a variety of hazards that may be relevant to the workplace
  • You can select and print any hazard
  • You can use this as a hardcopy in the workplace as a checklist for the hazard

 

Save / Print a PDF of a Hazard with Controls and Help Text

  • Register to create a BeSMART.ie account
  • Select and work through a business type
  • At the last step there will be a ‘Browse Hazard’ database of all the hazards available
  • Search for a hazard to print off or save as a PDF

Guidance / Publication on Common Hazards

Within the Learn More tab of BeSMART.ie you can find guidance material on a variety of workplace hazards, including on the hazards that most commonly lead to accidents and ill health: Electricity, Fire, Manual Handling, Slips / Trips / Falls, Chemicals, Work at Height, Workplace Transport, Display Screen Equipment, and Maintenance. For example:

  • Top Tips practical guidance and Information Sheets on Common Hazards
  • Short Videos on Top Tips for Managing Common Hazards
  • Safety Talk Pack for Small Business
  • Tool Box Talk Pack for Construction
  • Give Me the Short Version Videos explaining Risk Assessment, Safety Statement and Use of BeSMART.ie
  • Forms, Templates and Checklists
  • Publications

Guidance / Publications on Hazards for Specific Sectors

  • Within the Learn More tab of BeSMART.ie you can find guidance materal, checklists, safety alerts etc, according to industry sector
  • Construction
  • Agribusiness
  • Other Small Businesses

 Link to Free elearning Courses

  • Use the elearning tab at the top of the page or visit HSA courses for Small Businesses to access a free health and safety awareness course for employees

 

Free Online Learning

 

A free 15 minute elearning course for employees

This short animated course introduces employees, including those thinking of becoming a safety representative or member of the safety committee, to an overview of the safety and health requirements in the workplace. It presents learners with an outline of the main duties of employers and explains the duties of employees under Irish health and safety law. It also explains the important role that employees have in regard to safety and health in the workplace and on consulting with your employer on health and safety matters.

The content of the course is suitable across all industry sectors.

All you have to do is register, take the course whenever you wish and then download your certificate of completion when finished. You can also register a group of employees to take the course.

 

Use the elearning tab at the top of the page to access the course or visit hsa.learning.ie

Risk_Assessment_and_Action_ListChecklists, Forms and Templates

 

General Inspection Checklists

develop a checklist for a general walkabout

for construction - use the audit form from the S&H plan

Checklists for Specific Hazards

  • Any hazard within BeSMART.ie can be printed off and used as a checklist
  • Select the type of business you work in
  • You will be presented with a variety of hazards that may be relevant to the workplace
  • Select and print off any hazard with suggested control measures - you can use this as a checklist

           

 

Checklists for the following can be found in the Safety Representatives Resource Book:

  • Potential Hazards
  • Asbestos
  • Substances that can cause Occupational Asthma
  • Biological Agents
  • Bullying Policy Review
  • Electrical Safety
  • Fire Detection and Warning
  • Slip, Trip, Fall

ire Safety Checklists

  • X-20120405163729832 Fire Safety Maintenance Check Sheet (PDF 250KB)
  • X-20120405163729832 Fire Extinguisher Check Sheet

Internal Accident / Incident Investigation Form

  • Picture1 Internal Accident/Incident Investigation Form (RTF 137KB)

Risk Assessment Templates

Reporting of Accidents and Dangerous Occurrences to the HSA

Employers can report accidents to the Health and Safety Authority in two ways:

  • Complete the hard copy Incident Report Form (IR1) and posting it to the Workplace Contact Unit, Health and Safety Authority, The Metropolitan Building, James Joyce Street, Dublin 1. Forms can be obtained by contacting the HSA at 1890 289389.
  • Or report accidents online, via the Health and Safety Authority's website, IR1 Online

Employers can report Dangerous Occurrences using Form IR3:

  • X-20120405163729832 Form IR3 - Form of Notification of a Dangerous Occurrence (PDF 98KB)

Safe System of Work Plans (SSWP) for Construction

The primary objective of the SSWP is to identify the major hazards associated with your work activities and to ensure that appropriate controls are in place before work commences. The Safe System of Work Plan (SSWP) complements the Safety Statement required under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

 

Slips, Trips, Falls Mapping Tool

http://www.hsa.ie/eng/Topics/Slips_Trips_Falls/Mapping_Slips,_Trips_and_Falls/Mapping_tool_rev1.pdf

Training, PPE and Method Statement Templates

Workplace Vehicles Checklists

Other Resources for Safety Representatives

 

The HSA Website

  • A library of information on safety, health and welfare
  • You can search by topic, industry type, publications etc

 

 

Resource Book for Safety Representatives

Safety Representatives Handbook (PDF, 1851KB)

 

Register and select to stay informed as a safety representatve....