The Health & Safety Authority is urging managers and employees to work together to prevent workplace accidents as the European Week for Safety and Health gets underway.
Today, (Monday 22nd October) marks the start of European Week for Safety and Health at Work. This year’s campaign theme is “working together for risk prevention” which urges managers and employees to work in close cooperation with a view to making workplaces as safe and healthy as possible.
Speaking at the beginning of the campaign week, Martin O’Halloran, Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Authority said: “Although the management of any organisation has the ultimate responsibility for workplace safety and health, it is vital that workers can do their part and contribute to a safe and healthy working environment. We know that the best results will be found where managers and employees are working closely together towards the goal of healthy, accident-free workplaces.”
Prevention is the cornerstone of Ireland’s and Europe’s approach to managing workplace risk. Consultation and close interaction with workers and their representatives should be seen as fundamental to that approach. Workers are likely to know the main risks they face on a day-to-day basis and can often devise simple, cost-effective solutions. Business efficiencies are improved leading to benefits such as lower absenteeism rates, reduced insurance premiums, improved standing among customers and increased productivity.
According to O’Halloran, “The efforts of employers are likely to fail without active worker participation. Managers should do more than just consult with their employees; they should foster a culture of genuine cooperation. Right from the top of the organisation and down through all employees, the effective management of safety and health should be seen as an everyday part of running a business.”
During EU Safety Week and beyond, the Health and Safety Authority will be highlighting the importance of close employer/employee interaction. Authority inspectors will be focusing on the issue during workplace inspections and will be looking for evidence that there is an appropriate level of collaboration between management and workers. Information seminars in association with the European Agency for Safety and Health at Work are also being held in Dublin on Thursday 25th and Cork on Friday 26th October. Full details can be found on www.hsa.ie.