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Minister Breen launches Health and Safety Authority’s “Strategy Statement 2019-21”

- Increased focus on long term occupational health risks
- Impact of Brexit on Irish industry to be closely monitored

The Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD, today (Tuesday 26th February) announced the launch of the Health and Safety Authority’s “Strategy Statement 2019-21”. The new strategy focuses on delivering on the Authority’s vision of healthy, safe and productive lives and enterprises.

In welcoming the strategy, Minister Breen said, “Every worker in Ireland should be able to return home safe and well at the end of the working day. With more and more people employed, and thousands of new and younger workers joining the workforce every month, it is essential that the safety and health of employees is prioritised.”

Minister Breen added, “The Authority also has an important role to play in relation to Brexit, the impact of which will be keenly felt during the lifetime of this strategy. I am pleased to see that much work has already been undertaken by the HSA to help Irish businesses prepare for Brexit, particularly small and medium sized enterprises. The accreditation function of the Authority will be particularly important in helping industry deal with the possible impacts of Brexit. Working in close partnership with other state agencies, the work of the Authority will continue to feed into broader government activity in helping get Ireland Brexit ready.”

Dr. Sharon McGuinness, Chief Executive Officer of the Health and Safety Authority said, “The world of work is rapidly changing and new business models are evolving. However, the core duty of care on employers to provide a safe and healthy working environment for employees has not diminished. Occupational health can be a challenge for many organisations where the long-term or hidden nature of some health issues, for example in relation to stress or exposure to carcinogens, can be difficult to identify and manage. The Authority will focus resources in this area in an effort to ensure that employers and employees are aware of the issues and have the information and knowledge to meet their responsibilities.”

Tom Coughlan, Chairman of the Health and Safety Authority said, “We depend heavily on stakeholder engagement and a collaborative approach has always been at the forefront of how the Authority achieves its aims. This strategy is no different in that respect and we will continue to build and develop relationships and alliances with key stakeholders with a view to achieving our aims. This strategy ensures that the Authority and the Irish National Accreditation Service are fit for purpose and will continue to play a pivotal role in the performance of successful enterprises.”

The strategic priorities for 2019-21 are:
• Increased focus on compliance through risk based enforcement and inspection
• Support, educate and raise awareness to prevent work-related accidents, injuries and ill health
• Partner and collaborate in support of healthy, safe and productive lives and enterprises
• Grow the national accreditation service to enable and support enterprise and public services
• Improve the way we work through people, processes and technology

Copies of the Health and Safety Authority’s Strategy Statement 2019-21 and accompanying Programme of Work 2019 can be downloaded from www.hsa.ie.

ENDS.

For more information or to arrange an interview contact Gavin Lonergan, Head of Communications & Customer Relations, Health and Safety Authority on (087) 0523006 or pressoffice@hsa.ie


EDITORS NOTES

The HSA Strategy Statement 2019-21 sets out the Authority’s mandate, mission, vision, priorities and strategic outcomes to the end of 2021. This is the fifth statement of strategy prepared by the Authority under the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.

Our Mandate:

The Authority’s mandate is:
• To regulate and promote the safety, health and welfare of people at work and those affected by work activities
• To promote improvement in the safety, health and welfare of people at work and those affected by work activities
• To regulate and promote the safe manufacture, use, placing on the market, trade and transport of chemicals
• To act as a surveillance authority in relation to relevant single European market legislation
• To act as the national accreditation body for Ireland

Our Mission:

We regulate and promote work-related safety, health and welfare, market surveillance and safe use of chemicals and products and provide the national accreditation service.

Our Vision:

Healthy, safe and productive lives and enterprises

The Authority’s vision looks further than the three-year period of this strategy. In the longer term, we want to realise a safe and healthy working life for people in Ireland and to foster an environment where businesses can grow and prosper. We want to see human health protected by the safe use of chemicals in and out of work. We want to ensure that providers of services and products are accredited thereby enhancing the confidence of their customers and clients.

Strategic Priorities:

Regulate: Increase focus on compliance through risk based inspection and enforcement
Promote: Support, educate and raise awareness to prevent accidents, injuries and ill health
Influence: Partner and collaborate in support of healthy, safe and productive lives and enterprises
Accredit: Grow the national accreditation service to enable and support enterprises and public services
How we Work: Improve the way we work through people, processes & technology

Expected Strategic Outcomes:

The expected outcomes of this strategy are:
• Reduced rates of work-related deaths, injuries and ill health
• Employers actively engaged in managing occupational health, safety and welfare
• Workers actively engaged in protecting themselves and their colleagues at work
• Increased public awareness of how to avoid and manage the risks to health arising from applicable products and chemicals
• Increased awareness and use of INAB accreditation services to promote business excellence and sustainability and to support regulation in essential areas
• People and organisations proactively engaged and satisfied with Authority programmes, tools and services
• National interests represented during proposals for and transposition of EU directives and regulations
• The Authority to be a high-performing organisation evidenced by high levels of staff engagement and motivation, an ability to adapt to the changing environment, the optimal use of state resources and positive stakeholder relationships
• Active engagement by other organisations in supporting the work of the Authority through memoranda of understanding and service-level agreements
• Effective holding to account of those who fail in their duties under legislation enforced by the Authority

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