Legislation  A Definition

New Legislation

European Union (Prevention of Sharps Injuries in the Healthcare Sector) Regulations 2014

The above is a direct link to the Regulation.

The purpose of these Regulations is to transpose into Irish law Council Directive 2010/32/EU of 10 May 2010 implementing the Framework Agreement on prevention from sharp injuries in the hospital and healthcare sector concluded by HOSPEEM and EPSU. This Directive represents the first occupational safety and health Directive generated through social partners/dialogue mechanism.

The Regulations relate to the risks posed by sharps to those working in healthcare. They implement specific control measures to protect employees at risk, and require an appropriate response in the event of an incident occurring.

The Regulations build on the more general duties under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005 and the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) Regulations, 2013 (S.I. No. 572 of 2013) which apply across all industry sectors.

The Regulations define sharps as ‘objects or instruments necessary for the exercise of specific healthcare activities, which are able to cut, prick or cause injury or infection’. This includes equipment such as needles, blades (such as scalpels) and other sharp medical instruments.

The Regulations apply to all employers and employees in the healthcare sector.

This includes nurses, medical practitioners, nursing auxiliaries and assistants, cleaners, dental nurses, paramedics, home carers etc. The Regulations apply to students working in healthcare, self-employed persons in healthcare and any employees employed by organisations contracted to provide services for healthcare organisations such as cleaners and other ancillary staff.

An employer in healthcare is an employer whose main activity is the managing, organising and provision of healthcare (“healthcare employer”). These Regulations also apply to other employers who provide services to a healthcare employer, under the authority of a healthcare employer or in a healthcare employer’s place of work. The duties on this employer only apply insofar as the employer has control over the relevant activities of their relevant employees.

Where an employee of a healthcare employer provides healthcare services in another employer’s workplace or in the home of a patient, the employer will be required to comply with the proposed Regulations. Employers whose main activity is not the provision of healthcare but whose employees may work with sharps will not fall within the scope of the Regulations (unless they are working on the premises of a healthcare employer who is subject to the proposed Regulations). Therefore organisations such as schools and prisons are not subject to the Regulations even though they might employ medical staff. Those employers remain subject to existing health and safety legislation

Safety Health and Welfare at Work (Biological Agents) Regulations 2013

The above is a direct link to the Regulation. Further information on the Regulation can be found here.

Safety Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2013 (SI 291)

The purpose of these Regulations is to prescribe the main requirements for the protection of the safety, health and welfare of persons working on construction sites and to give further effect to Council Directive 92/57/EEC on the minimum safety and health requirements at temporary or mobile construction sites.

These Regulations are designed to clarify and strengthen the general duties of all parties as regards securing occupational safety, health and welfare in construction work, including those of Clients, Project Supervisors, Designers, Contractors and Employees.

These Regulations apply to all construction projects including the alteration, decoration, maintenance and repair of buildings and the installation, maintenance and removal of mechanical and other systems fixed within or to structures. They place obligations on clients and designers to ensure that safety and health is taken into account before any construction work begins.

These Regulations replace and revoke the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) Regulations 2006 ( S.I. No. 504 of 2006 ), the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) (Amendment) Regulations 2008 ( S.I. No. 130 of 2008 ), the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2008 ( S.I. No. 423 of 2008 ), the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 ( S.I. No. 523 of 2010 ), the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 ( S.I. No. 461 of 2012 ), the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2012 ( S.I. No. 481 of 2012 ) and Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Construction) (Amendment) Regulations 2013 ( S.I. No. 182 of 2013 ).]

These Regulation came into operation on 1 August 2013.