Minister Richmond appoints Patricia Byron as Chairperson of the Health and Safety Authority
13th July 2023
Appointment coincides with publication of the HSA's 2022 Annual Report
Neale Richmond TD, Minister of State for Business, Employment and Retail, has today, Thursday 13th July, announced Patricia Byron as the Chairperson of the Health and Safety Authority for a three year term1. Patricia, who has many years’ experience in the public and private sectors including two terms as CEO of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board, currently sits on the Board of the Central Bank of Ireland Commission as well as chairing a number of public sector Audit committees, including the Department of Finance. Patricia is also Chairperson of the Board of the Health Insurance Authority.
Commenting on Ms. Byron’s appointment, Minister Richmond said, “I’d like to congratulate Patricia on her well-deserved appointment and I look forward to working with her to ensure that the important role of the Health and Safety Authority continues in the coming years. Patricia has extensive leadership experience across the public and private sectors and I know that she has the knowledge and expertise to confidently steer the future direction of the HSA as the world of work that we all face continues to evolve”.
Taking up the role, Ms. Byron said, “I’m delighted to be appointed by Minister Richmond as the new HSA Chairperson. I am conscious that as a public body that operates and regulates across a broad and diverse mandate, the Authority plays a unique role in ensuring the safety of workers, services, consumers and products in the private and public sectors as well as the environment. I look forward to working with Minister Richmond, the Board, CEO and staff of the Authority in ensuring the Authority fulfils its remit on behalf of the workers and consumers of Ireland”.
Today’s announcement coincides with the publication of the HSA's 2022 Annual Report. Key highlights include:
- Over 11,000 inspections and investigations were conducted by the Authority across all economic sectors and across all legislative mandates.
- 28 work-related fatalities were reported in 2022 compared to 38 in 2021, a reduction of over 26% and the lowest reported fatality figure on record.
- Market surveillance activities for chemical and industrial products saw 1,170 chemical products and 994 statutory reports of examination for machinery, lifts and pressure equipment assessed.
- 260 non-compliant chemical products were removed from the Irish market.
- Significant work was undertaken shaping EU chemical policy on the Chemical Strategy for Sustainability and a toxic-free environment.
- A Strategy for Accreditation was launched setting out how Ireland can fully realise the benefits of accreditation across the economy and society.
- Over 30,000 online courses were taken on the Authority’s eLearning platform, hsalearning.ie.
- Engagement with ‘future workers’ grew with over 20,000 post-primary students from 400 schools taking part in our Choose Safety programme, the largest annual participation.
Commenting on the outcomes for 2022, Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Safety Authority, Conor O’Brien, said, “With the lowest number of fatalities on record since the Authority was established in 1989, I very much welcome the significant reduction in work-related fatalities last year. However, we recognise that families, colleagues and communities have been left devastated because of the 28 lives lost in work-related incidents in 2022. With over 11,000 inspections and investigations undertaken last year, our commitment to creating a culture of workplace safety and health throughout all workplaces and taking appropriate enforcement action will continue”.
“This is our first annual report under our Strategy Statement 2022-2024 and through the remaining period of this strategic cycle we will continue to provide a wide range of guidance and practical tools to help workplaces proactively manage workplace safety and health, as well as fulfil our wide and varied mandate across occupational health and safety, in ensuring the safety of workers, services, consumers and products”.
Copies of the HSA 2022 Annual Report can be downloaded from the Authority’s website.
1 Ms Byron was appointed as Chairperson to the Board of the Health and Safety Authority following an open Public Appointments Service (PAS) process.
2 As of 31st December 2022, the Authority received notification of 27 fatalities. This was subsequently revised to 28 fatalities in 2023 on receipt of updated information.
For further information please contact the HSA press office at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone Aoife Moroney Ward on (086) 8036141.
Notes for Editor:
About Patricia Byron
Patricia Byron has worked as a senior executive in the Insurance and related financial services sector over many years. She was the first CEO of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board (PIAB), an independent State body, established to reform a costly personal injury claims environment. Patricia is past Chairperson of the Motor Insurers Bureau of Ireland where she led a reform programme, focusing on business transformation and effectiveness. When appointed as Chairperson of the Association of Chief Executives of State Bodies, she became actively involved in a number of public sector reform programmes. She currently works as a consultant in the Financial Services and Health sectors. Patricia is a Non-Executive Director on the Board of the Central Bank of Ireland Commission and is the Chairperson of the Health Insurance Authority Board. Patricia is a graduate of UCD, a Chartered Insurer and a Past President of the Insurance Institute