Why Are Employers’ Duties Relating to Health, Safety and Welfare Not Understood or Not Known?

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Abstract

There are company directors in the construction and manufacturing sectors
in the Republic of Ireland who are unaware of their duties in relation to safety,
health and welfare at work. Phrases such as hazard, specific risk assessment,
control measures, hierarchy of control measures and safe system of
work do not appear to be understood. This study focused on safety management
of 10 limited companies located in the Republic of Ireland. The plant
and equipment and processes used by all 10 companies result in high-risk activities
that require specific control measures. There is a perception among
company employers that the role of the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) is to
tell and show them precisely what they need to do in terms of health and
safety management; however, this perception is flawed. The HSA’s remit is
wide reaching including (but not limited to) promotion, inspection, investigations
and the development of a myriad of extremely useful publications and
short guides to help duty holders understand what is required. However, even
with the work of HSA, there is a serious issue in terms of basic knowledge
amongst employers. This paper proposes to address the gaps in knowledge by
changing the process for becoming an employer for certain companies that
carry out high risk activities by having a mandatory health and safety entrance
exam before the directorship/permission to trade is approved. This
study is unique in that there is no other study of this type reported to-date in
terms of identifying such a significant knowledge gap.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)125-141
Number of pages16
JournalOpen Journal of Safety Science and Technology
Volume12
Issue number04
DOIs
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - 27 Dec 2022

Keywords

  • Employer
  • Duties
  • Health
  • Safety
  • Management
  • Welfare
  • Hazard
  • Risk
  • Safe System of Work

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