Managing Health and Safety
Who is this section aimed at?
This section is aimed at larger enterprises with a well-defined management structure, where occupational safety and health management can be integrated into the general management system of the company. In particular, it is aimed at those who control the activities of the business e.g. the executive directors, boards of directors, other boards of management and senior management controlling bodies in workplaces, all senior managers who discharge responsibilities for occupational safety and health, and safety and health professionals. Smaller companies with a less formal management structure can use the information in these pages as appropriate to their needs. Safety Representatives should also find it helpful.
Why it is important to have a health and safety management system?
There are sound economic reasons for reducing work-related accidents and ill-health, as well as ethical and regulatory reasons.
Besides reducing costs, effective safety and health management promotes business efficiency. Thousands of work-related accidents, resulting in more than three days off work are reported to the Health and Safety Authority each year. Work-related diseases and ill-health are more difficult to measure due to their long latency period but result in excess of one million days lost at work each year. These accident and ill-health cases are due to failures and deficiencies in the occupational safety and health management in organisations.
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (the 2005 Act) requires all duty holders to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health and welfare of workers and members of the public and to manage and conduct all work activities in such a way as to ensure their safety, health and welfare. This requires all who have this legal responsibility to be proactive in managing their safety, health and welfare responsibilities and deal with them in a systematic way. This section should help organisations to improve their safety and health performance by providing advice on how safety and health should be managed, and in the process help them to comply with their legal requirements.
- Moral and Ethical Reasons
The proactive management of safety and health in the workplace helps organisations prevent injuries and ill-health at work. This guidance should help organisations reduce the personal loss caused as a result of accidents and ill-health at work.
Workplace Health and Safety Management Guidance
The Workplace Health and Safety Management Guidance aims to give practical advice and recommendations on developing an occupational safety, health and welfare management system for larger workplaces, with an already well defined management structure, which maybe at one or more locations. The words 'safety and health' are used throughout the document for conciseness and are intended to cover the safety, health and welfare of employees and others at work due to work activities.
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