The Minister for Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, Richard Bruton this week launched the Health and Safety Authority Programme of Work for 2012 which will continue to target sectors that have a high rate of accidents and injuries.
“By improving attitudes to safety in high risk sectors, such as farming and construction, we can see real and sustained reduction in accident rates. The authority is deploying its resources in a targeted and focused manner, using risk-based enforcement, and engaging with the various stakeholders and representative bodies to influence change,” said Minister Bruton.
Martin O’Halloran, chief executive of the Health and Safety Authority, stated that inspections, along with awareness-raising and preventative initiatives, will continue in 2012.
“We will carry out inspections across the traditional high risk sectors but also in areas where we are seeing worrying trends emerging, such as the waste management sector, where there have been a number of fatalities over the last couple of years.
“We will endeavour to motivate employers and employees to work together to improve safety and health in all workplaces. We will provide tools, such as our free online risk assessment for small businesses (BeSMART ), and information, through various campaigns that will raise awareness and help reduce injury, death, and illness in the workplace.”
Overall workplace safety inspection numbers will decrease to 13,250 in 2012 compared to the 14,500 carried out in 2011. During 2012 the authority will carry out 3,000 farm inspections (3,000 in 2011 ) and 3,000 construction inspections (3,500 in 2011 ). The chemicals enforcement programme will include 1,500 inspections.
Some of the other high priority topics that will be addressed during 2012 are; work-related vehicle safety, manual handling, maintenance of plant and machinery, bullying, and chemical use.