Regulatory Powers

Licensing Requirement

The Minister may, for the purpose of protecting the safety, health and welfare of persons at work, prescribe any work activity to which the provisions of safety health and welfare at work legislation apply as being an activity which may not be carried on except in accordance with the terms or conditions of a licence issued by the Health and Safety Authority, which licence the Authority or other prescribed issuer is authorised to issue.

The Authority may attach such conditions to a licence issued as it thinks proper including conditions as to its expiry or revocation. It may at its discretion grant or refuse an application for a licence. It may, if it so thinks proper, publish particulars of an application for a licence and invite representations concerning it from interested persons.

The Authority must cause a register of all licences granted by it under this section to be kept in such form and containing such particulars as it thinks proper. Any person, upon payment of a prescribed fee and an inspector, without payment, shall be entitled at all reasonable times to inspect and take copies of or extracts from a register kept under this subsection.


Appeal

If the Authority refuses to grant a licence or grants a licence on conditions with which the applicant is dissatisfied, it or person so prescribed shall, at his or her request, deliver to him or her a certificate stating the grounds on which it has refused a licence or attached the conditions. The applicant may appeal to the High Court from the decision of the Authority within 10 days after receipt of the certificate or such further time as the High Court may allow.

On the hearing of an appeal from a decision of the Authority or refusing the grant of a licence or granting a licence on conditions with which the applicant is dissatisfied, the High Court may confirm the decision or may direct the Authority or person prescribed to grant the licence, to attach specified conditions to the licence or to amend or delete a condition attached to the licence, as may be appropriate. A decision of the High Court on an appeal under this section shall be final save that, by leave of that Court, an appeal shall lie to the Supreme Court on a specified question of law.


Regulations

The Minister may by regulations provide, subject to this Act, for any matter referred to in this Act as prescribed or to be prescribed. The Minister may make regulations generally for the purposes of giving full effect to the legislation. In particular, the Minister may make regulations for or in respect of any of the matters set out below. The Minister shall consult with the Authority before making regulations giving effect with modifications to any proposal made by the Authority

Every regulation or order shall be laid by the Minister before each House of the Oireachtas as soon as may be after it is made. If a resolution annulling the regulation or order is passed by either House within the next 21 days on which that House has sat after the regulation or order is laid before it, the regulation or order shall be annulled accordingly. This is without prejudice to the validity of anything previously done under the regulation or order.

Breach of the regulations may be provided under the principal Act or the regulations to be an offence. A person guilty of any of such offence is subject

  • on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding €5,000or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or both, or
  • on conviction on indictment to a fine not exceeding €3,000,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 2 years or both.

This does not make an indictable offence in respect of regulations made under the European Communities Act 1972, unless otherwise provided by statute.


Regulations Provision

Regulations Act may—

  • contain any incidental, supplementary and consequential provisions that appear to the Minister to be necessary or expedient for the purposes of the regulations,
  • apply either generally or to a specified class or classes of persons, places of work or work activities, article or substance or to any other matter that the Minister may consider to be appropriate,
  • include different provisions in relation to different classes of persons, place of work or work activity, article or substance, and
  • subject to any conditions that may be prescribed, exempt from all or any of the provisions of the relevant statutory provisions any specified class of work activity, employment, article or substance or any specified class of person or place of work, where, having regard to the class of work activity, employment, article, substance, person or place of work, the Minister is satisfied that the application of those provisions is unnecessary or impracticable and that adequate protective measures are in place.

Regulations made may apply to all work activities or to particular work activities, and they may also relate to

  • one or more chemical, physical or biological agents,
  • the classification, packaging, labelling, marketing or use of any article or substance,
  • the control of major accident hazards,
  • the storage or transport of dangerous substances, or
  • factories, the extractive industries, office premises or to boilers.


Application

Regulations may apply to—

  • employers or other persons who control places of work or specified places of work,
  • employees or a particular class of employees,
  • all work activities or particular work activities,
  • designers, manufacturers, sellers or suppliers (or any classes thereof) of articles, substances or personal protective clothing or equipment (or any classes thereof),
  • a specified article or substance or an article or substance of a particular class.

Regulations may incorporate, adopt, apply or make prescriptions by reference to, with or without modification, any code of practice issued by the Authority.

The Minister may make regulations for such further requirements, arrangements, modifications or exemptions as the Minister considers necessary, from time to time, in relation to the operation of sections and for such fees as may be charged


Workplace Safety

The Minister may make regulations as regards the safety, health and welfare of their employees at work with respect to

  • the design, provision and maintenance of places of work,
  • safe means of access to and egress from places of work, and
  • plant and machinery and other articles,

Requirements may be imposed with respect to any matter affecting the conditions in which persons work, including such matters as the structural condition and stability of premises, the means of access to and egress from the premises, cleanliness, temperature, humidity, lighting, ventilation, overcrowding, noise, vibrations, ionising and other radiations or other physical agent, dust and fumes and exposure to water or other liquids.


Workplace Facilities

Requirements may be imposed as to facilities or arrangements for welfare at work (including supply of water, sanitary conveniences, washing or bathing facilities, ambulance and first-aid arrangements, cloakroom facilities, seating, refreshment facilities, facilities for the making or taking of meals or, prohibiting the taking of meals or refreshments in specified circumstances);

Requirements may be imposed as regards any place of work in relation to—

  • precautions to be taken against dangers to which the place of work or persons in the place of work are or may be exposed by reason of conditions (including natural conditions) existing in the vicinity of that place, or
  • securing that persons in a place of work leave that place of work in specified circumstances where there is a risk to their safety or health;

Requirements may be imposed in prescribed circumstances with respect to the taking of precautions in connection with the risk of fire, fire-safety rules and procedures and the provision and maintenance of fire-protection equipment in places of work;


Risk Management

The Minister may make regulations as regards the safety, health and welfare of their employees at work with respect to

  • the management and conduct of work activities including the prevention of improper conduct or behaviour,
  • the use of any article or substance,
  • the provision, planning, organisation, performance and maintenance of systems of work,
  • the provision of information, instruction, training and supervision, including, as appropriate, such provision in an appropriate language or languages,
  • the determination and implementation of safety, health and welfare measures,
  • the provision, testing, use and maintenance of protective clothing or equipment,
  • the preparation and revision of plans and procedures and measures to be taken in emergencies and in the case of serious and imminent danger,
  • the obtaining of the services of competent persons so as to ensure the safety, health and welfare of persons at work including the training, experience and knowledge required of competent persons,
  • co-operation in matters relating to safety, health and welfare at work, and
  • the safety, health and welfare at work of fixed-term or temporary employees;

Safe Systems

Requirements may be imposed in relation to non-domestic places of work as regards such places of work, any article or substance provided for use in such places and as regards access to or egress from such places.

Requirements may be imposed on an employee in relation to conduct or behaviour likely to endanger his or her own safety, health and welfare at work or that of any other person including as regards intoxication and submission to reasonable and proportionate tests;

Requirements may be imposed on persons as regards interference, misuse or damage of anything provided under the relevant statutory provisions or otherwise for securing the safety, health and welfare of persons at work;

R requirements to be imposed on an employee as regards his or her own safety, health or welfare at work including requirements as regards the use of any appliance, protective clothing, convenience, equipment or means or thing provided for securing their safety, health or welfare at work and attendance at safety and health training;

Requirements may be imposed with respect to the safe lifting or handling by persons at work of any load likely to cause injury to a person so lifting or handling it;Requirements may be imposed as regards the safety, health or welfare of persons with respect to the management of animals in or at places of work;


Equipment I

The Minister may make regulations for or in respect of any matters including the following:

  • requirements to be imposed on persons who design, manufacture, import or supply articles for use at work as regards  the design, construction, testing, examination or use of any article or prescribed class of article, or the provision of information relating to the use at work for which any article or prescribed class of article was designed or tested or relating to its being sited, tested, installed, repaired, altered, maintained, dismantled or disposed of in a manner which will be safe and without risk to the health or welfare of persons at work;
  • requirements to be imposed on persons who design or manufacture articles for use at work as regards the carrying out of research with respect to those articles with a view to the discovery of potential risks or the elimination or minimisation of any risks to the safety, health or welfare of persons at work;
  • requirements to be imposed on persons who erect or install articles for use at work as regards the erection or installation of those articles so as to be safe and without risks to health or welfare when those articles are used in a place of work;

Equipment II

Requirements may be imposed on persons who manufacture, import or supply any substance or prescribed class of substance as regards—

  • the use, testing or examination of the substance, or
  • the provisions of information about any risk to safety, health or welfare to which the substance may give rise, or
  • the results of tests on the substance or its use or disposal in a manner which will be safe and without risk to the health or welfare of persons at work;

Requirements may be imposed on persons who manufacture, or in a case where the manufacture is undertaken outside the State, import any substances as regards the carrying out of research with a view to the discovery, elimination or minimisation of risks to safety, health or welfare to which the substance may give rise when in use;


Regulations Construction

The Minister may make regulations for or in respect of any matters including the following:

  • requirements to be imposed on persons who commission or procure the construction of places of work as regards the appointment of competent persons to ensure those places are designed, can be constructed, are maintained and comply with the relevant statutory provisions so as to be safe and without risk to the health or welfare of persons at work;
  • requirements to be imposed on persons who design places of work as regards the design of those places so as to be safe and without risk to the health or welfare of persons at work;
  • requirements to be imposed on persons who construct places of work as regards the construction of those places so as to be safe and without risk to the health or welfare of persons at work;

Regulations re Systems

The Minister may make regulations for or in respect of any matters including the following:

  • requirements to be imposed on employers as regards the identification of hazards and the assessment of risks;
  • requirements to be imposed on employers as regards safety statements;
  • requirements to be imposed as regards the regulation, prohibition or control of the use of specified articles for use at work including the guarding, siting, installing, commissioning, protecting, testing, examining, inspecting, altering, adjusting, maintaining or dismantling of any such article;
  • requirements to be imposed as regards the marking of any article for use at work or designed for use as a component of such article;
  • requirements to be imposed as regards the regulation, prohibition or control of the use of any specified substance;
  • requirements to be imposed as regards the testing, examination, classification or labelling of any specified substance including notification of specified particulars in relation to such substance;
  • requirements to be imposed as regards the prohibition or control of importation or supply of any article or substance for use at work;
  • requirements to be imposed as regards the prohibition or the regulation of the transport of any article or substance for use at work including requirements as regards the construction, testing and marking of containers and means of transport and the packaging and labelling for transport of those articles or substances;
  • requirements to be imposed as regards the use or design of specified safety signs at places of work;

Health Surveillance

Requirements may be imposed as regards the making of arrangements for health surveillance of persons at work including medical examinations, biological monitoring or special health surveys;

Requirements may be imposed as to the registration in a prescribed register of any specified activity or thing in order to monitor compliance with safety, health and welfare requirements under the relevant statutory provisions;

Requirements may be imposed as to the appointment of prescribed persons or classes of persons to do prescribed things in relation to safety, health or welfare at work or to carry out specific activities or undertake specific responsibilities with safety, health and welfare implications;

Requirements may be imposed as to the regulation of or prohibition from prescribed classes of employment of prescribed classes of persons in relation to their safety, health and welfare at work;


Exposures

The Minister may make regulations for or in respect of any matters including the following:

  • regulating or prohibiting atmospheric or other conditions to which an employee may be exposed in a place of work;
  • prescribing methods, standards or procedures for determining the amount or level of any atmospheric condition or any biological, chemical or physical agent or combination thereof in a place of work;

Requirements may be imposed so as to control or limit—

  • the emission into a place of work of any specified gas, vapour, smoke, dust, or any other specified substance arising from work activities,
  • the emission into the working environment of noise, vibration, any ionising or other radiations,
  • other environmental pollution in the place of work including environmental tobacco smoke, or
  • the monitoring of any such emissions in a place of work;

Regulatory

The Minister may make regulations for or in respect of any matters including the following:

  • conferring powers on inspectors in specified circumstances to require persons to submit written particulars of measures proposed to be taken to achieve compliance with any of the relevant statutory provisions;
  • requirements to be imposed with respect to the keeping and preservation of records relating to compliance with the relevant statutory provisions in relation to safety, health and welfare at work;
  • requirements to be imposed as to the doing or prohibition of any specified thing where any accident or other occurrence of a specified kind has occurred;
  • requirements to be imposed with respect to the reporting in the prescribed manner of such matters relating to the safety, health or welfare of persons at work as may be prescribed, or that of other persons arising out of work activities, (including the giving of such information as may be prescribed relating to accidents, personal injuries or dangerous occurrences) to the Authority or to an inspector of the Authority or to any other person as may be prescribed;
  • the prohibition of the carrying on of such work activities as may be prescribed except by or under the supervision of persons with prescribed qualifications, training or experience.

Requirements may be imposed as regards joint safety and health agreements;