Safety Statement

Risk Assessment I

Employers have an obligation to have systems to ensure the health, safety and welfare of their employees while at work. A risk assessment must be undertaken and acted on. A written safety statement must be prepared and made available. A safety representative must be appointed

Every employer must

  • identify the hazards in the place of work under his or her control;
  • assess the risks presented by those hazards; and
  • be in possession of a written assessment of the risks to the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees.

Risk Assessment II

The assessment must include an assessment of the safety, health and welfare of any single employee or group or groups of employees who may be exposed to any unusual or other risks under safety health and welfare legislation.

In carrying out the  risk assessment, the employer must take account of the work being carried on at the workplace, in the context of the duties imposed by safety health and welfare legislation.

A risk assessment must be undertaken by the commercial occupier of business premises in relation to persons other than its employees who are in the workplace. Every such person must prepare a safety statement to the extent that his or her duties may apply to persons other than his or her employees.

It is an offence not to carry out the a risk assessment where required.


Review of Risk Assessment

The risk assessment must be reviewed by the employer where there has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates, or there is another reason to believe that it is no longer valid. Following the review, the employer must amend the risk assessment as appropriate.

After the each risk assessment, the employer  must take steps to implement any improvement considered necessary relating to the safety, health and welfare at work of employees and to ensure that any such improvement is implemented in respect of all activities and levels of the place of work.

An inspector can direct that the safety statements be amended. It should be considered how and when risk assessments need to be updated.


HSA Guidance on Risk Assessment

The HSA has published practical guidance on the implementation and maintenance of an occupational health and welfare management system (2006) at www.hsa.ie. There is further guidance for directors and senior managers in relation to their responsibilities under the legislation (2007).

There are European standards for occupational health and safety. Many of these have been endorsed by the HSA.

It is widely recognised that proper health and safety health management systems reduce accidents and occupational ill-health.  The older legislative approach was by way of specific prohibitions and activities. The modern approach recommends and requires risk management. The workplace should be organised and designed so that risks are minimised.

Management responsibility for health, safety in work is emphasised in the modern system. Senior managers directors can be made criminally liable for breaches of health, safety and welfare legislation.


Identifying Risks I

Hazards in the workplace must be identified. Risks to health and safety must be assessed. Risk assessments must be specific to the place of work. Risk assessments must be written. They must be re-evaluated periodically. Improvements must be made, if necessary.

The failure to identify an assessed risk is a criminal offence. In civil claims, access will be allowed to relevant records which could be very prejudicial to the employer who has failed to comply.

The risk assessment involves an appraisal as to whether the general duties of employers and specific requirements for the business have been complied with. There is a significant body of information on risk assessment. It is also the U.K. approach to health, safety and welfare at work and a significant UK material is also available.


Identifying Risks II

The risk assessment should consider risks and their probability. If a minor consequence risk is very likely or if there is a serious consequence but unlikely risk, each should be appraised and assessed. There are various ways in which to proceed with the risk assessment.

  • a safety audits by an external consultant;
  • an inspection;
  • plans with a checklist;
  • hazards and operability studies;
  • safety sampling;
  • safety survey;
  • safety tours involving unscheduled visits and examinations.

Each organisation is unique. The risk assessment should apply to all activities and levels within the organisation.


Principles of Prevention

Employers must have regard to the general principles of prevention in the Health, Safety and Welfare at work legislation. A number of principles are identified;

  • avoidance of risks;
  • the evaluation of unavoidable risks;
  • combating risk at source;
  • adapting work at the design level;
  • choice of equipment;
  • choice of systems with a view to eliminating monotonous work and work at pre-determined ways and the effect of this work on health;
  • the adaptation of the workplace to technical progress;
  • replacement of dangerous articles, systems and substances at work by safer less dangerous systems and substances,
  • giving priority to collective measures over individual protective measures;
  • development of an adequate prevention policy which takes account of the organisation of work conditions, social factors, and the influence of factors relating to the working environment
  • giving appropriate training and instruction.

The HSA guidance for senior managers assists in considering what is required by the obligations.


Safety Statement

Every employer must prepare, or cause to be prepared, a written safety statement. It is an offence not to have a health and safety statement where required assessment. A safety statement should not simply be a template that is purchased and copied. It should be tailored to the particular organisation.

The  safety statement is the safety management document. The safety statement must be written. It is based on the identification of hazards and risks under the risk assessment. It must specify the manner in which safety, risks, hazards and welfare at work are secured and managed.

It is sufficient compliance by an employer employing 3 or fewer employees to observe the terms of a code of practice, if any, relating to safety statements which apply to the class of employment covering the type of work activity carried on by the employer.

A health and safety statement may be required in relation to non-employees. This may include contractors, members of the public and persons affected by the work.


Contents of Safety Statement

Every employer must ensure that the safety statement specifies

  • the hazards identified and the risks assessed,
  • the protective and preventive measures taken and the resources provided for protecting safety, health and welfare at the place of work to which the safety statement relates,
  • the plans and procedures to be followed and the measures to be taken in the event of an emergency or serious and imminent danger,
  • the duties of his or her employees regarding safety, health and welfare at work, including co-operation with the employer and any persons who have responsibility under safety health and welfare legislation in matters relating to safety, health and welfare at work,
  •  the names and, where applicable, the job title or position held of each person responsible for performing tasks assigned to him or her pursuant to the safety statement, and
  • the arrangements made regarding the appointment of safety representatives and consultation with, and participation by, employees and safety representatives, including the names of the safety representative and the members of the safety committee, if appointed.

Notifying and Following Safety Statement I

Every employer must bring the safety statement, in a form, manner and, as appropriate, language that is reasonably likely to be understood, to the attention of his or her employees, at least annually and, at any other time, following its amendment and to newly-recruited employees upon commencement of employment, and

Where there are specific tasks being performed at the place of work that pose a serious risk to safety, health or welfare, an employer must bring to the attention of those affected by that risk relevant extracts of the safety statement setting out

  • the risk identified,
  • the risk assessment, and
  • the protective and preventive measures taken in accordance with safety health and welfare legislation in relation to that risk.

Notifying and Following Safety Statement II

All members of management must be aware of their responsibilities under the safety statement.

Every employer who is conducting activities, as may be prescribed, who contracts with another employer for that employer to provide services to him or her must require that that employer is in possession of an up-to-date safety statement as required.

A copy of a safety statement, or relevant extract of it, must be kept available for inspection at or near every place of work to which it relates while work is being carried out there.


Review of Safety Statement

Every employer must taking into account the risk assessment carried out, review the safety statement where

  • there has been a significant change in the matters to which it refers,
  • there is another reason to believe that the safety statement is no longer valid, or
  • an inspector in the course of an inspection, investigation, examination, inquiry or otherwise directs that the safety statement be amended within 30 days of the giving of that direction,

Following the review, the employer must amend the safety statement as appropriate.


Consultations regarding Safety Statement I

Modern health safety and welfare at work legislation emphasises employee consultation. This is reflected in the requirement for consultations, a safety statement,  and for the appointment of a safety representative and other competent persons.

Consultation must take place in advance and in good time. Consultation should cover any measure which substantially affects health, safety and welfare at work;

  • designation of employees having emergency duties;
  • activities related to protection from and prevention of risks;
  • hazard identification and risk assessment;
  • preparation of safety statement;
  • planning and organisation of training;
  • appointment of competent persons;
  • reports on accidents and dangerous occurrences;
  • information required to be given to employees;
  • planned introduction of new technologies and the implications under health, safety and welfare legislation.

Consultations regarding Safety Statement II

The employer must consult with employees and take account of their representations, in giving effect to its obligations. Consultation is mandatory. The purpose of consultation is to promote and develop measures to ensure health, safety and welfare at work and to maintain arrangements to enable effective cooperation between employers and employees.

The employer must consider representations made by the employee in so far as reasonably practicable, it must take action on foot of them, taking appropriate or necessary measures. Employers must give employees involved in consultation and training, time off from other duties without loss of pay.

Where there is joint employer and employee decision-making forum (applies under 2006 Act to larger businesses) consultations under that Act should be undertaken. The 2006 Act requires consultation in cases where there are more than 50 employees.


Safety Committee I

A safety committee is not mandatory. A safety committee may be required in certain circumstances, in larger scale businesses. Where there is a safety committee, it will usually be deemed sufficient to comply with the legal obligations for consultation.

A safety committee is selected to perform the functions assigned to them. There should be at least three and not more than one for every twenty employees or ten members, whichever is less. The employer may appoint members of the committee.

At least one safety representative must be appointed by the employees, to be a member of the committee. Members are to be appointed by employers and employees. Generally, the majority are appointed by the employees. The safety committee assists employers and employees in relation to the statutory obligations. A person ceasing to be employee, ceases to a member of the committee.


Safety Committee II

The employer may be entitled to attend or nominate a person to attend safety committee meetings. The employer or its nominee is to attend the first meeting and present the safety statement. The safety committee must consider representations made to it by the employers on matters affecting safety, health and welfare at work of persons employed.

Subject to what is agreed between employer and the committee, meetings must be held from time to time on the days decided, without loss of remuneration. Meetings are held not more frequently than once every three months. Their duration is not to exceed one hour. The number of persons attending, must be at least a quorum. The times of meetings shall be compatible with the efficient operation of the business.


Safety Representatives I

The employees may select a safety representative to represent them in consultation with the employer, on matters of health, safety and welfare at work. Safety representatives are not mandatory. They may be selected by the employees but need not necessarily be selected. Under certain circumstances, more than one safety representative may be appointed with the agreement of the employer.

The safety representative has the right to inspect the workplace, on giving reasonable notice. He may inspect it immediately if there is an accident, dangerous occurrence or an imminent danger to health, safety or welfare. The employer and representative are to agree the frequency and schedule of the inspections to be carried out. The employer may not unreasonably withhold its agreement. The required frequency of inspections will depend on the size of the workplace, the risks and hazards.


Safety Representatives II

The safety representative may investigate accidents and dangerous occurrences, provided that this does not interfere with any other person carrying out his duties. The safety representative may investigate complaints, having given reasonable notice to the employer.

The representative may accompany the HSA inspector on inspections. The employer must notify the representative, when an inspector arrives to carry out an inspection. Representatives may make verbal or written representations to inspectors. They may receive advice and information from them.

Representatives may make representations to the employer on health, safety and welfare at work matters. The employer must consider these representatives and act on them if necessary.


Training

An employer has obligations to provide information, instruction, training and supervision so as to ensure the health, safety and welfare at work of its employees. The safety representative must have an access to

  • information on risk assessment;
  • information on reportable accidents, diseases and occurrences;
  • information resulting from the experience in applying protective and preventative measures under legislation.

Employers must give reasonable time off to safety representatives both to train and to carry out their duties. Their minimum duration for a safety representative course, should be three days according to HSA guide. The requirements are relative to the sector. The representative must not be penalised or disadvantaged in carrying out his duties.


References and Sources

Irish Books

Safety, Health and Welfare and at Work Law in Ireland 2nd Ed 2008 Byrne Ch 5

Safety & Health Acts Consolidated & Annotated       2013   Byrne

Health, Safety & Welfare Law in Ireland        2012   Kinsella Ch 4

Health & Safety: Law and practice 2007 Shannon

Health & Safety at Work   1998 Stranks Ch 2

Civil Liability for Industrial Accidents 1993 While

Websites

The Health and Safety Authority  www.hsa.ie

Health and Safety Executive (UK) www.hse.gov.uk

UK Books

Tolleys Health and safety at work, 2017 29th ed Bamber,

Corporate liability: work related deaths and criminal prosecutions 3rd ed. Forlin

Health and safety at work: European and comparative perspective Ales.

Health and Safety Law 5th Ed 2005 Stranks

Principles of Health and Safety at Work (8th ed) Holt, Allan St. John; Allen, Jim;

The Law of Health and Safety at Work 2014/15 (23rd ed) Moore, Rachel; Winter, Hazel;

Statutes

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) (No. 3) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 370 of 2016)

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) (No. 2) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 70 of 2016)

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) Regulations 2016 (S.I. No. 36 of 2016)

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) Regulations 2012 (S.I. No. 445 of 2012)

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) Regulations 2010 (S.I. No. 176 of 2010)

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) (Amendment) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 732 of 2007)

Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 (S.I. No. 299 of 2007)


Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations

Protective and Preventive Measures.

18.—(1) Without prejudice to the generality of section 8, an employer shall, for the purpose of complying with the relevant statutory provisions, appoint one or more competent persons to perform such functions as are specified by the employer, relating to the protection from and the prevention of risks to safety, health and welfare at work.

(2) An employee appointed under subsection (1) as a competent person shall be allowed adequate time, with no loss of remuneration, to enable him or her to perform such functions as are specified by the employer.

(3) Every employer shall—

(a) ensure that—

(i) the number of persons appointed, and

(ii) the time available to them and the means at their disposal to perform their functions under this section,

are adequate having regard to the size of the place of work, the risks to which employees are exposed and the distribution of those risks in the place of work, and

(b) make arrangements for ensuring adequate co-operation between those persons and safety representatives (if any) appointed under section 25 whenever necessary.

(4) Where there is a competent person in the employer’s employment, that person shall be appointed for the purposes of this section in preference to a competent person who is not in his or her employment except where the knowledge and experience of the person first referred to is not adequate or appropriate to the functions conferred by this section.

(5) An employer shall provide the competent person appointed under this section F3[…] with the following information:

(a) the factors known by the employer to affect, or suspected by the employer of affecting, the safety, health and welfare of his or her employees;

(b) the risks to safety, health and welfare and the protective and preventive measures and activities in respect of the place of work and the work carried out there;

(c) the measures for the evacuation of employees and other persons to be taken under section 11, including the employees designated to implement the plans and measures referred to in paragraphs (a) and (b) of subsection (1) of that section; and

(d) such reasonable information about any person in the place of work concerned who is a fixed-term employee or a temporary employee as is necessary to enable the competent person to perform his or her functions under this section.

Annotations:

Amendments:

F3

Deleted (10.12.2010) by Chemicals (Amendment) Act 2010 (32/2010), s. 12(a), S.I. No. 591 of 2010.


Hazard identification and risk assessment.

19.—(1) Every employer shall identify the hazards in the place of work under his or her control, assess the risks presented by those hazards and be in possession of a written assessment (to be known and referred to in this Act as a “risk assessment”) of the risks to the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees, including the safety, health and welfare of any single employee or group or groups of employees who may be exposed to any unusual or other risks under the relevant statutory provisions.

(2) For the purposes of carrying out a risk assessment under subsection (1), the employer shall, taking account of the work being carried on at the place of work, have regard to the duties imposed by the relevant statutory provisions.

(3) The risk assessment shall be reviewed by the employer where—

(a) there has been a significant change in the matters to which it relates, or

(b) there is another reason to believe that it is no longer valid,

and, following the review, the employer shall amend the risk assessment as appropriate.

(4) In relation to the most recent risk assessment carried out by an employer, he or she shall take steps to implement any improvement considered necessary relating to the safety, health and welfare at work of employees and to ensure that any such improvement is implemented in respect of all activities and levels of the place of work.

(5) Every person to whom sections 12 or 15 applies shall carry out a risk assessment in accordance with this section to the extent that his or her duties under those sections may apply to persons other than his or her employees.


Safety statement.

20.—(1) Every employer shall prepare, or cause to be prepared, a written statement (to be known and referred to in this Act as a “safety statement”), based on the identification of the hazards and the risk assessment carried out under section 19, specifying the manner in which the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees shall be secured and managed.

(2) Without prejudice to the generality of subsection (1), every employer shall ensure that the safety statement specifies—

(a) the hazards identified and the risks assessed,

(b) the protective and preventive measures taken and the resources provided for protecting safety, health and welfare at the place of work to which the safety statement relates,

(c) the plans and procedures to be followed and the measures to be taken in the event of an emergency or serious and imminent danger, in compliance with sections 8 and 11,

(d) the duties of his or her employees regarding safety, health and welfare at work, including co-operation with the employer and any persons who have responsibility under the relevant statutory provisions in matters relating to safety, health and welfare at work,

(e) the names and, where applicable, the job title or position held of each person responsible for performing tasks assigned to him or her pursuant to the safety statement, and

(f) the arrangements made regarding the appointment of safety representatives and consultation with, and participation by, employees and safety representatives, in compliance with sections 25 and 26, including the names of the safety representative and the members of the safety committee, if appointed.

(3) Every employer shall bring the safety statement, in a form, manner and, as appropriate, language that is reasonably likely to be understood, to the attention of—

(a) his or her employees, at least annually and, at any other time, following its amendment in accordance with this section,

(b) newly-recruited employees upon commencement of employment, and

(c) other persons at the place of work who may be exposed to any specific risk to which the safety statement applies.

(4) Where there are specific tasks being performed at the place of work that pose a serious risk to safety, health or welfare, an employer shall bring to the attention of those affected by that risk relevant extracts of the safety statement setting out—

(a) the risk identified,

(b) the risk assessment, and

(c) the protective and preventive measures taken in accordance with the relevant statutory provisions in relation to that risk.

(5) Every employer shall, taking into account the risk assessment carried out under section 19, review the safety statement where—

(a) there has been a significant change in the matters to which it refers,

(b) there is another reason to believe that the safety statement is no longer valid, or

(c) an inspector in the course of an inspection, investigation, examination, inquiry under section 64 or otherwise directs that the safety statement be amended within 30 days of the giving of that direction,

and, following the review, the employer shall amend the safety statement as appropriate.

(6) Every employer who is conducting activities, as may be prescribed in accordance with this subsection, who contracts with another employer for that employer to provide services to him or her shall require that that employer is in possession of an up-to-date safety statement as required under this section.

(7) A copy of a safety statement, or relevant extract of it, shall be kept available for inspection at or near every place of work to which it relates while work is being carried out there.

(8) It shall be sufficient compliance with this section by an employer employing 3 or less employees to observe the terms of a code of practice, if any, relating to safety statements which applies to the class of employment covering the type of work activity carried on by the employer.

(9) Every person to whom section 12 or 15 applies shall prepare a safety statement in accordance with this section to the extent that his or her duties under those sections may apply to persons other than his or her employees.

Annotations:

Editorial Notes:

E13

Safety statement details prescribed (1.05.2008) by Safety, Health And Welfare At Work (Quarries) Regulations 2008 (S.I. No. 28 of 2008), reg. 11.

……


Joint safety and health agreements.

24.—(1) A trade union of employees, representing a class or classes of employees, and a trade union of employers may—

(a) enter into or vary an agreement (in this Act referred to as a “joint safety and health agreement”) providing practical guidance to the employees and employers with respect to safety, health and welfare at work including the requirements of the relevant statutory provisions, and

(b) apply to the Authority seeking approval for the agreement or its variation.

(2) The Authority may approve of a joint safety and health agreement where it is satisfied that—

(a) the parties concerned consent to the approval sought,

(b) the agreement is expressed to apply to all employees of a particular class and their employers and the Authority is satisfied that it is normal and desirable that it should so apply,

(c) the parties to the agreement are substantially representative of such employees and employers,

(d) the agreement does not conflict with the requirements of the relevant statutory provisions, and

(e) the agreement is in a form suitable for approval.

(3) Where an application is made to the Authority for approval of a joint safety and health agreement, the Authority shall direct the parties concerned to publish information on the agreement in such a manner that is best calculated to bring the application to the notice of all persons concerned.

(4) The Authority shall not approve of a joint safety and health agreement until one month after its publication under subsection (3) and if any objection is received within that period, the Authority shall consider the objection and shall not approve the agreement if it does not comply with subsection (2).

(5) Approval of a joint safety and health agreement may be withdrawn by the Authority if it is satisfied that all parties thereto consent to its withdrawal or if the agreement is terminated by any of the parties concerned.

(6) Where the Authority approves of a joint safety and health agreement, it shall publish a notice of approval in Iris Oifigiúil and in at least 2 daily newspapers circulating in the State, and that notice shall—

(a) identify the agreement,

(b) specify the matters relating to safety, health and welfare at work or the relevant statutory provisions in respect of which the agreement is approved and published, and

(c) specify the date on which the agreement shall come into operation.

(7) The parties to a joint safety and health agreement shall make copies of the agreement, or variations thereof, available for inspection by all persons concerned.

(8) A joint safety and health agreement shall, so long as it continues to be approved by the Authority, be taken into account by the Authority or a person prescribed under section 33 for the purposes of assessing compliance by an employer with the relevant statutory provisions notwithstanding the fact that that employer and the employees concerned are not party to the joint safety and health agreement.

PART 4


Safety Representatives and Safety Consultation

Safety representatives.

25.—(1) Without prejudice to section 26, employees may, from time to time, select and appoint from amongst their number at their place of work a representative (in this Act referred to as a “safety representative”) or, by agreement with their employer, more than one safety representative, to represent them at the place of work in consultation with their employer on matters related to safety, health and welfare at the place of work.

(2) A safety representative may—

(a) inspect the whole or any part of the place of work—

(i) subject to subsection (3), after giving reasonable notice to the employer, or

(ii) immediately, in the event of an accident, dangerous occurrence or imminent danger or risk to the safety, health and welfare of any person,

(b) investigate accidents and dangerous occurrences provided that he or she does not interfere with or obstruct the performance of any statutory obligation required to be performed by any person under any of the relevant statutory provisions,

(c) after the giving of reasonable notice to the employer, investigate complaints relating to safety, health and welfare at work made by any employee whom he or she represents,

(d) accompany an inspector who is carrying out an inspection of the place of work under section 64 other than an inspection for the purpose of investigating an accident or dangerous occurrence,

(e) at the discretion of the inspector concerned, accompany an inspector who is carrying out an inspection under section 64 for the purpose of investigating an accident or dangerous occurrence,

(f) at the discretion of the inspector concerned, where an employee is interviewed by an inspector with respect to an accident or dangerous occurrence at a place of work, attend the interview where the employee so requests,

(g) make representations to the employer on any matter relating to safety, health and welfare at the place of work,

(h) make oral or written representations to inspectors on matters relating to safety, health and welfare at the place of work, including the investigation of accidents or dangerous occurrences,

(i) receive advice and information from inspectors on matters relating to safety, health and welfare at the place of work, or

(j) consult and liaise on matters relating to safety, health and welfare at work with any other safety representatives who may be appointed in the undertaking concerned, whether or not those safety representatives work in the same place of work, in different places of work under the control of the employer or at different times at the place of work.

(3) The employer and the safety representative shall, having regard to the nature and extent of the hazards in the place of work, agree the frequency or schedule of inspections which may be carried out under subsection (2)(a)(i), which agreement shall not be unreasonably withheld by the employer.

(4) Every employer shall consider any representations made to him or her by the safety representative in relation to the matters specified in this section or any other matter relating to the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees and, so far as is reasonably practicable, take any action that he or she considers necessary or appropriate with regard to those representations.

(5) An employer shall give to a safety representative such time off from his or her work as is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances, without loss of remuneration, to enable the safety representative—

(a) to acquire, on an ongoing basis, the knowledge and training necessary to discharge his or her functions as a safety representative, and

(b) to discharge those functions.

(6) Where an inspector attends at a place of work for the purpose of carrying out an inspection under section 64, the employer shall inform the safety representative that the inspection is taking place.


Consultation and participation of employees, safety committees.

26.—(1) Every employer shall, for the purpose of promoting and developing measures to ensure the safety, health and welfare at work of his or her employees and ascertaining the effectiveness of those measures—

(a) consult his or her employees for the purpose of making and maintaining arrangements which will enable the employer and his or her employees to co-operate effectively for those purposes,

(b) in accordance with the arrangements referred to in paragraph (a), consult with his or her employees, their safety representatives or both, as appropriate, in advance and in good time regarding—

(i) any measure proposed to be taken in the place of work which may substantially affect the safety, health and welfare of those employees, including measures to be taken under the relevant statutory provisions,

(ii) the designation of employees under section 11,

(iii) activities arising from or related to the protection from and the prevention of risks to safety, health and welfare at work,

(iv) the hazard identification and the risk assessment to be carried out under section 19,

(v) the preparation of a safety statement under section 20,

(vi) the information to be provided to employees under section 9,

(vii) the information required to be kept or notified to the Authority in respect of accidents and dangerous occurrences referred to in section 8(2)(k),

(viii) the appointment of persons referred to in section 18,

(ix) the planning and organisation of the training referred to in section 10, or

(x) the planning and introduction of new technologies particularly in relation to the consequences of the choice of equipment and working conditions and the working environment for the safety, health and welfare of employees.

(2) Employees shall have the right to make representations to and consult their employer on matters relating to their safety, health and welfare at work, including the matters specified in subsection (1).

(3) Where, in a place of work by agreement of the employer, there is a group of persons (by whatever name known) representative of the employer and the employees that constitutes a safety committee in compliance with Schedule 4 and that exists for the purpose of consultation regarding the safety, health and welfare at work of the employees, consultation within that group of persons may, to such extent as may be agreed between the employer and his or her employees, fulfil the requirements of subsections (1) and (2).

(4) Every employer shall consider any representations made to him or her by his or her employees in relation to the matters specified in this section or any other matter relating to their safety, health or welfare at work and, so far as is reasonably practicable, take any action that he or she considers necessary or appropriate with regard to those representations.

(5) An employer shall give to employees involved in arrangements for consultation referred to in subsections (1) and (3) such time off from their duties as is reasonable having regard to all the circumstances, without loss of remuneration, to enable those employees—

(a) to acquire the knowledge and training necessary to discharge their functions under this section, and

(b) to discharge those functions.

(6) In an undertaking in which arrangements for joint decision making exist involving the employer and employees, these arrangements shall include consultation in accordance with this section.