During the Inspection

The Health & Safety Authority (HSA) inspectors will assess how you keep yourself, your workers, and anyone who may be affected by your work, healthy and safe. During an inspection our inspectors may:

  • ask you and your workers what they do;
  • look at possible health risks arising from your work;
  • look at how you handle chemicals so that they are not allowed enter the workplace atmosphere or into
    the environment;
  • review your control of key sectoral risks;
  • assess vehicle, machinery and work equipment safety;
  • review your safety statement, risk assessments and safety data sheets;
  • review work equipment maintenance logs; and take photographs and measurements of work situations.

The HSA inspectors will want to know about:

  • the main health and safety issues in your workplace,
  • your own knowledge and experience of health and safety.

Inspectors will want to speak to your safety representative, where one exists, or members of your safety committee.
The safety representative may accompany the inspector during the inspection.

 

During an Investigation

The HSA inspectors are required to investigate all fatal accidents which occur at work and which are due to a
work activity. We may also investigate the circumstances into certain serious non-fatal incidents at your workplace.
They can also investigate complaints that are made to them on unsafe work practices. During an investigation the inspectors have certain powers under law which allows them to:

  • enter, enquire into, search, examine and inspect a place of work;
  • obtain information from employers and employees,

if required;

  • interview employers and employees about work activities which led to an accident;
  • take witness statements when undertaking their investigation;
  • require the production of records and to make and retain copies of these records;
  • test and examine any article or substance at the workplace and to remove or retain them if necessary;
  • install and maintain monitoring instruments;
  • and take samples of the workplace.

 

What if There is Something Wrong?

The inspectors may give you advice, either verbally or in writing, about how you can make improvements on health
and safety in your workplace. They may take action if they find you are breaking the law or stop work which is
dangerous. Some of the enforcement actions that can be used include:

  • A Report of Inspection setting out areas for improvement and advice about health and safety at work.
  • An Improvement Notice or a Contravention Notice for breaches of the legislation giving you a period of time
    to make improvements.
  • A Prohibition Notice where there is a risk of serious personal injury which will stop you doing something
    until you have made it safe to continue.
  • Prosecution through the office of the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) for failing to comply with the law or
    not complying with one of the above Notices. All of the above Notices can be appealed to the District
    Court if you do not agree with the HSA decision.

Read More – Health & Safety Authority Publication: What to Expect When the Health and Safety inspector Calls