Employers have a legal responsibility for ensuring that the locations under their control are safe for their employees to work in. They must ensure their employees' health and safety at all times while at work. Every employer is obliged to prepare a written Safety Statement and bring it to the attention of their employees.
Preparing a Safety Statement and keeping it up to date is considered a most important step in managing health and safety in the Department of Electronic & Electrical Engineering. Our Safety Statement is based on the principle that safety can be managed because most accidents are foreseeable and can usually be prevented. The Statement must be prepared after hazards have been identified and an assessment of the risks in the workplace has been carried out. It must also include a list of the control measures that are taken to remove these risks and where that cannot be done, to reduce the risks, to the lowest possible level.
The terms hazard and risk are often used interchangeably but have separate meanings. A hazard is anything at work which might cause you harm (e.g. electricity, hot surfaces, slippery floors, lifting heavy loads) while risk is the likelihood that harm could occur from a particular hazard and its consequences. Assessing the risk is the process of evaluating the risks in your laboratory, office or lecture room, or any other work area, and putting in place the most appropriate controls or safety devices in order to prevent accidents.
In the Statement you will find an outline of the employer's duties and the duties of employees. Employees have responsibilities as well. They must take reasonable care of their own safety and not endanger their own or colleagues' safety by their actions or failure to act. We also have duties of care to any students and visitors in the Department buildings.
The primary law that governs safety at work is the "Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005." Among other things, this Act defines all the relevant terms, sets out the responsibilities, deals with the Safety Statement and details the penalties for noncompliance with the law.
The following link should take you to the Department's Safety pages http://www.mee.tcd.ie/safetywhere you will find the Safety Statement and a collection of safety related guides and other safety information, like:
- "2007 Code of Practice for the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (Chemical Agents) Regulations 2001 (S.I. No. 619 of 2001)"
- "General Application Regulations 2007"
The latter came into force on 1-Nov-2007 with the aim of simplifying health and safety law by incorporating into one legislative enactment the specific health and safety laws which apply GENERALLY to ALL employments.
The following link should connect you to College Safety pages where, in particular, you should find the main T.C.D. Safety Statement.