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For Business

Health and Safety Act 2005

The legislative requirements placed on companies by the Health and Safety Act 2005 brings Ireland in line with EU regulations. Features of the new legislation include:

  • On-the-spot fines and the provision of maximum fines of up to 3 million and terms of imprisonment of up to two years for breaches of the law
  • Company directors and managers may be held liable in circumstances where they are found to have contributed to any offence and they may be directly prosecuted under the new provisions
  • Employees can be found guilty of an offence if they report for work in an intoxicated condition

The enforcement and implementation of the legislation can appear to be complicated because it involves a shift in workplace culture. The costs for non-compliancy are high, and the task to encourage an involved and proactive workforce can seem daunting. It can also be a very time intense and costly venture.

AFRESH partner with companies in meeting the "softer" side of such legislation, to create a safer workplace by empowering staff to be responsible for their actions. The immediate feedback from our clients has been unanimous. "Win-Win" is probably one of the most common comments heard in the feedback from our programs.

Employers benefit by empowering their staff to proactively manage their stress through practical lifestyle measures and smarter working techniques. Staff benefit by developing their self awareness and a responsibility for their own health and safety. In doing so, the Company are not only meeting the "softer" requirements of the 2005 Health and Safety Act but are also protecting themselves against potential lawsuits, particularly in the area of stress. Unfortunately The World Health Organisation (WHO) predicts that by 2020, five of the top ten illnesses world wide will be stress related. Not surprisingly, stress is predicted to become the primary cause of lost working time by 2020.

Work related stress costs the EU at least 20 billion a year in lost time and health bills according to a 2002 Health & Safety Authority Report. These figures have risen dramatically over the last years and will continue to do so in the future.

It may be the integrated practical approach of the AFRESH programs which results in such positive feedback. By equipping employees with tools which they can apply to both their work and home life they really learn how to get the most from both in a productive and hassle free way. Employers are then not only meeting their health and safety requirements, but also get a workforce who are healthier, more motivated and committed to the company. This accounts for the "Win-Win" comments.