Third Party Duties

Duties of Provider of Articles

A person who designs manufactures, imports or supplies any article for use at work shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the article is designed and constructed so as to be safe and without risk to health when properly used by a person at a place of work. It must comply with the relevant legislation.

They must

  • ensure that the article undergoes appropriate levels of testing and examination to ensure compliance;
  • provide or arrange for the provision of adequate information about the article to the persons to whom it is supplied to ensure its safe use;
  • ensure that persons to whom the article is supplied are provided with any revisions of the information provided as are necessary by reason of it becoming known that anything relating to the article gives rise to a serious risk to safety or health,
  • if the person has a responsibility under a rental, leasing or other arrangement to do so, maintain the article in a safe condition and in compliance with the relevant statutory provisions,
  • comply with the relevant statutory provisions.

Obligations Regarding Articles

Adequate information includes information relating to the use for which the article has been designed, manufactured or tested, as the case may be, and any conditions necessary to ensure its safe installation, use, maintenance, cleaning, dismantling or disposal without risk to safety or health.

A person who undertakes the design or manufacture of any article for use at work shall carry out or arrange for the carrying out of any necessary research with a view to the discovery and, so far as is reasonably practicable, the elimination or minimisation of any risks to safety or health to which the design or article may give rise.

A person who erects, assembles or installs any article for use at a place of work where that article is to be used by persons at work shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that nothing in the manner in which it is erected, assembled or installed makes the article unsafe or a risk to health when used at the place of work.


Duties of Commercial Premises Occupiers

A person who has control to any extent of a non-domestic place of work that has been made available as a place of work to persons other than his employees has duties to those persons. The duty extends to the means of access to or egress from that place of work, or any article or substance provided for the use of persons at that place of work, other than employees of the person who has control of the article or substance.

The duty applies to any person who has control of a place of work or part of a place of work in connection with the carrying on of a trade, undertaking or business (whether for profit or not).

Where a person has, by virtue of any contract, tenancy, licence or other interest, an obligation to any extent to maintain or repair a place of work or the means of access thereto or egress therefrom, or as regards the safety of, or the absence of risk to health arising from, any article or substance provided for use in, that place of work, the person is deemed, for the purposes of this section, to be a person to whom this duty applies to the extent of his or her obligation.

A person to whom the duty applies shall ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the place of work, the means of access thereto, or egress therefrom, and any article or substance provided for use in the place of work, are safe and without risk to health


Provider of Substances I

A person who manufactures, imports or supplies a substance for use at work shall

  • ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the substance is safe and without risk to health when properly used by a person at a place of work;
  • ensure that the substance undergoes appropriate levels of testing and examination to ensure compliance;
  • provide or arrange for the provision of adequate information about the substance to the persons to whom it is supplied to ensure its safe use, and
  • comply with the relevant statutory provisions and with the provisions of any relevant enactment implementing any relevant directive of the European Communities.

Provider of Substances II

Adequate information includes information relating to

  • the identification of the substance;
  • any risk to safety or health associated with its inherent properties;
  • the results of any relevant tests or examination which have been carried out on or in connection with the substance that are relevant to its safe use, and
  • any conditions necessary to ensure its safe use, handling, processing, storing, transportation or disposal without risk to safety or health.

A person who undertakes the manufacture of a substance, or in the case where the manufacture was undertaken outside the State, the importer, shall carry out or arrange for the carrying out of any necessary research with a view to the discovery and, so far as is reasonably practicable, the elimination or minimisation of any risks to safety or health to which the substance may give rise when in use.


Limits to  Duty

The above obligations do not necessarily require a person to repeat any testing, examination or research which has been carried out otherwise than by or on behalf of the person, in so far as it is reasonable for the person to rely on the results of that testing, examination or research, for the above purposes.

Any duty imposed on a person above extends only to things done in the course of a trade, undertaking or business (whether for profit or not) carried on by the person and to matters within his or her control.

Where a person designs, manufactures, imports or supplies an article or substance for use at work and does so for or to another person on the basis of a written undertaking by that other person to take specified steps that are sufficient to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that the article or substance shall be safe and without risk to health or safety when it is used at a place of work, the undertaking has the effect of relieving the person who designs, manufactures, imports or supplies the article or substance from certain of the above duties to such extent as is reasonable having regard to the terms of the undertaking.

This does not relieve any person who imports any article or substance from any duty in respect of anything which in the case of an article designed outside the State, was done by and in the course of any trade, profession or other undertaking carried on by, or was within the control of, the person who designed the article, or in the case of an article or substance manufactured outside the State, was done by and in the course of any trade, profession or other undertaking carried on by, or was within the control of, the person who manufactured the article or substance.


Defences

Where a supplier supplies to another person any article or substance for use at work under a hire-purchase agreement, a leasing agreement or credit-sale agreement, and the supplier—

  • carried on the business of financing the acquisition of goods by others by means of those agreements, and
  • in the course of that business acquired his or her interest in the article or substance supplied to the customer as a means of financing its acquisition by the customer from a third party,

then that third party and not the supplier shall be treated for the purposes of this section as supplying the article or substance to the customer, and any duty imposed on suppliers shall, accordingly, fall on that third party and not on the supplier.

The absence of safety or a risk to health shall be disregarded in so far as the case is or, in relation to which it would arise is shown to be, one the occurrence of which could not reasonably be foreseen. In determining whether a duty imposed above has been performed, regard shall be had to any relevant information or advice which has been provided to any person by the person who designed, manufactured, imported or supplied the article or by the person who manufactured, imported or supplied the substance.


References and Sources

Irish Books

Safety, Health and Welfare and at Work Law in Ireland 2nd Ed 2008 Byrne Ch 43

Safety & Health Acts Consolidated & Annotated       2013   Byrne

Health, Safety & Welfare Law in Ireland        2012   Kinsella Ch 4,5

Health & Safety: Law and practice 2007 Shannon

Health & Safety at Work   1998 Stranks Ch 6

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)