HSA publishes details of key priorities and inspection targets for 2018

Friday 23rd February 2018

The Health and Safety Authority has today published its ‘Programme of Work’ for 2018 detailing key priorities, themes and inspection targets for the year.


The Authority has set a target of 11,435 workplace inspections and investigations for 2018:

  • The construction sector will receive the highest number of inspections with 4,000 planned. 
  • There will be 2,000 inspections carried out in the agriculture sector and the Authority will participate in 50 ‘Farm Knowledge Transfer Groups’. 
  • 1,285 inspections and audits are planned under the chemicals legislation programme.

In conjunction with inspection and enforcement, a number of occupational safety and health initiatives will be adopted:

  • Work-related stress will continue to be addressed through the promotion of the online tool WorkPositive.ie.
  • In the healthcare sector there will be a focus on manual and patient handling.
  • Accidents involving vehicles are consistently the most common cause of fatal injury in all workplaces. This year the Authority will raise awareness of vehicle safety through joint initiatives with the Road Safety Authority (RSA) and An Garda Síochána.

The Authority will continue with its commitment to deliver free and easy-to-use services through online programmes:

  • New hsalearning.ie courses, including a MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) on induction for new workers, will be developed.
  • There are currently 48,000 businesses using BeSMART.ie, the free HSA online safety tool, a further 6,000 users are expected to be added during 2018.

The HSA chemicals safety programme will focus on workers and consumers:

  • The REACH deadline, for registration of chemicals above one tonne, is on May 31st. The HSA will be providing advice and support to Irish SME registrants to help them meet this deadline.
  • There will also be an emphasis on ensuring consumer products comply with EU chemicals safety regulations. Any products that are found to have the potential to cause harm will be removed from the market.

The Irish National Accreditation Board (INAB), now part of the HSA, will continue in its role of supporting enterprise:

  • INAB will maintain and extend accreditations for over 200 clients.
  • It will also meet any increased demand for accreditation services, particularly in the areas of EU regulation and Brexit.

Minister of State for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD said: “The work of the HSA is vital to a workforce that is increasing in size and approaching full employment. All workers, regardless of the sector, have the right to a safe and healthy workplace. This can be achieved by making sure that day-to-day knowledge of safety is high, particularly in the agriculture sector where we have seen unacceptable levels of death and injury. The HSA approach of combining inspections and enforcement with prevention and awareness-raising measures is one I fully support.”

Martin O’Halloran Chief Executive of the HSA said:  “Our remit is broad and covers all work activity. The very nature of work is evolving and new types of jobs are constantly being created so we must recognise current hazards and anticipate the ones that will emerge. We see our overall role as protecting the workforce while at the same time supporting business and enterprise.”

The ‘HSA Programme of Work for 2018’ is available to download from www.hsa.ie.