FAQs

1.      COMPANY SPECIFIC

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2.      HEALTH & SAFETY
 
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3.      HUMAN RESOURCES
 
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1.      COMPANY SPECIFIC
 
 
 Why use HRS Business Solutions
1.      Cost effective specialist HR and Health & Safety management support
2.      Allows you concentrate on Value Added  activities
3.      Compliance with Employment and H&S Legislation
4.      Reduced cost of Insurance / Employer Liability claims or likelihood of Prosecution
5.      Enhanced employee morale through commitment / involvement
What will the service cost?
The initial consultation is Free – HRS will only bill you for agreed work proposed in advance and accepted by you.
 
 
2.      HEALTH & SAFETY
 
What is the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005?
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, was brought in to make provision for the safety, health and welfare of persons at work. This Act clarifies and enhances the responsibilities of employer‘s, the self-employed, employees and various other parties in relation to safety and health at work..
The Act came into force on 1st September 2 005
(Source: HSA.ie)
Who does the 2005 Act apply to?
The Act applies to all employers, self-employed and employees in all places of work. It also places duties on designers, suppliers, manufacturers and others concerned with work activities.
(Source: HSA.ie)
What are my duties as an employer under the 2005 Act?
Many of the duties, which were in place under the 1989 Act, are retained in the 2005 Act. These duties have been extended or re-defined in the 2005 Act. The new duties are highlighted below but all requirements are equally applicable.
The different requirements are split up into the following headings:
1.         General duties of Employers
2.         Information to Employees
3.         Instruction, Training & Supervision of Employees
4.         Emergencies and serious and imminent dangers
5.         Protective and Preventive Measures
6.         Hazard identification & Risk Assessment
7.         Safety Statement
8.         Co-operation
9.         Health Surveillance & Medical fitness to work
10.     Safety representative
11.     Employee Consultation
12.     Penalisation
(Source: HSA.ie)
Are there any regulations on testing for intoxicants in the workplace?
There are no regulations on testing for intoxicants other than in Railway Safety Act 2005. Many companies already have policies on intoxicants and testing may be one element of this policy.
There is already a requirement on employees under Section 13(1)(b) of the 2005 Act not to be under the influence of an intoxicant to such an extent as to endanger themselves or others.
Section 13(1)(c) makes provision for testing as may be prescribed by the Minister.
 (Source: HSA.ie)
What are the penalties for breaches of health and safety legislation?
Most offences, including any breaches of Regulations under the 2005 Act may be tried either:
in summary proceedings in the District Court where the max penalty is €3,000 per charge and/or up to six months imprisonment or on indictment in the Circuit Court where the maximum penalty is €3,000,000 and/or imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
(Source: HSA.ie)
May the Health and Safety Authority publish the name of my company if it is in breach of the legislation?
The Health and Safety Authority may compile and publish a list of names and addresses and the description of the business or activities of every person:
 
(Source: HSA.ie)
When may an Inspector issue "On the spot fines"?
The 2005 Act provides that an inspector issue on "the spot fines" where he or she has reasonable grounds for believing that a person is committing or has committed certain prescribed offences under occupational safety and health legislation.
The Act allows for fines of up to €1000 per offence although the Regulations may set a lower level.
On the spot fines can apply to employers, employees, persons in control of workplaces, importers and suppliers etc - all duty holders under the Act.
 (Source: HSA.ie)
 What is a competent person?
According to the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, a person is deemed to be a competent person where, having regard to the task he or she is required to perform and taking account of the size or hazards (or both of them) of the undertaking or establishment in which he or she undertakes work, the person possesses sufficient training, experience and knowledge appropriate to the nature of the work to be undertaken.
(Source: HSA.ie)
What does the law require regarding Risk Assessments and Safety Statements?
Every employer is required to manage safety and health at work so as to prevent accidents and ill-health.  The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 requires employers to:
·            identify the hazards
·            carry out a risk assessment
·            prepare a written safety statement
(Source: HSA.ie)
In relation to safety statement preparation will I be compliant if I use a generic Safety Statement?
No. Under Section 20 of the Act every employer is required to prepare a safety statement for his/her own place of work based on the identification of the hazards and the risk assessment carried out under Section 19 of the 2005 Act. This safety statement is specific and unique to each place of work. An employer using a generic safety statement would not be compliant with Section 19 and 20 of the Act.
(Source: HSA.ie)
Is anyone exempt from carrying out a risk assessment and/or preparing a safety statement?
A risk assessment must always be prepared for that place of work. However, if 3 or fewer people are employed and a code of practice relating to safety statements, prepared by the Authority, exists for a sector or work activity, then compliance with that code is sufficient.
Source: HSA.ie)
I am considering seeking the advice and services of a safety consultant. Can you offer me any advice?
Section 18 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 states that, where a competent employee (in matters relating to health and safety), is available to an employer, that person should be utilised to address issues relating to safety, health and welfare. If the employer does not have access to a competent person “in-house”, s/he should obtain the services of someone from outside the organisation to assess and advise on the safety, health and welfare requirements.  Generally a person specialising in safety consultancy will have, in addition to relevant experience, a certificate, diploma degree or other qualification in the field of occupational health and safety. They might also be a member of a professional institute specialising in occupational health and safety, such as the Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) and/or other professional institutes.
 (Source: HSA.ie)
What areas are covered under the General Application Regulations 2007?
The Safety, Health and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations 2007 came into law from 1st November 2007 and contain 8 Parts and 10 Schedules, as follows:
Part 2 - Workplace and Use of Work Equipment
Chapter 1 – Workplace
Chapter 2 – Use of Work Equipment
Chapter 3 – Personal Protective Equipment
Chapter 4 – Manual Handling of Loads
Chapter 5 – Display Screen Equipment
Part 3– Electricity
Part 4 - Work at Height
Part 5 - Physical Agents
Chapter 1 - Control of Noise at Work
Chapter 2 - Control of Vibration at Work
Part 6 - Sensitive Risk Groups Chapter 1 - Protection of Children and Young Persons Chapter 2 - Protection of Pregnant, Post Natal and Breastfeeding Employees Chapter 3 - Night Work and Shift work
Part 7 – Safety Signs and First-Aid
Chapter 1 - Safety Signs at Places of Work
Chapter 2 – First-Aid
 Part 8 - Explosive Atmospheres at Places of Work
Schedule 1 – Requirements for Work Equipment
Schedule 2 – Personal Protective Equipment
Schedule 3 – Risk Factors for Manual Handling of Loads
Schedule 4 – Minimum Requirements for all Display Screen Equipment Schedule 5 – Inspection of Work Equipment
Schedule 6 – Hand-Arm Vibration and Whole-Body Vibration
Schedule 7– Protection of Children and Young Persons
Schedule 8 – Lists of Agents, Processes and Working Conditions Relating to Pregnant, Post Natal and Breastfeeding Employees
Schedule 9 – Safety and Health Signs at Work
Schedule 10 – Explosive Atmospheres
(Source: HSA.ie)
 
What parts of the 1993 General Application Regulations remain in force from November 2007? 
Only Part X and the Twelfth Schedule to the General Application Regulations 1993, relating to the notification of accidents and dangerous occurrences, remain in place after 1 November 2007.
(Source: HSA.ie)
What does the term ‘General Application’ mean?
The term ‘general application’ in the title of the Regulations is intended to convey the message that the various Parts and Chapters of the Regulations apply to all employments, as does the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005.  As such, the Regulations are designed to simplify the task for employers and workers of locating and identifying the safety and health laws which apply to all.
(Source: HSA.ie)
Who do these Regulations apply to?
The Regulations place obligations as regards safety and health on employers, employees and others. They apply to all workplaces. They lay down a basis for managing safety and health and ensure that employers consult with employees on safety and health matters.
(Source: HSA.ie)
 
Can any text be included on a safety sign?
Safety signboards put in place after 1 November 2007 should not contain text. Text may be included on a supplementary signboard provided that it does not adversely affect the effectiveness of the safety signboard.
(Source: HSA.ie)
Do existing safety signs containing text have to be replaced?
Where a signboard is already in place before 1 November 2007 and it meets all the requirements of Part 7 and Schedule 9 to the Regulations, except that it contains text, an employer may leave that signboard in place until 1 January 2011.
(Source: HSA.ie)
 
 
3.      HUMAN RESOURCES
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Must I issue my employees with a contract or terms and conditions?
The Terms of Employment (Information) Act 1994 provides that an employer must issue their employees with a written statement of terms and conditions relating to their employment within two months of commencing employment.
 
(Source – NERA.ie)
 
What is the National Minimum Wage and are there any exceptions?
The National Minimum Wage is €8.65 per hour. The National Minimum Wage applies to all employees except:
  • Employees in industries (such as the construction industry) which are covered by registered employment agreements (REA's) and Employment Regulation Orders (ERO's), entitling their workers to a higher minimum wage
  • Employees who are in their first year of employment since turning the age of 18 (€6.92 per hour)
  • Employees who are under 18 years of age (€6.06 per hour)
  • Employees who are in their second year of employment since turning 18 (€7.79 per hour)
  • Employees who are close relatives of the employer
  • Employees undergoing structured training such as an apprenticeship (other than hairdressing apprenticeships)
 
(Source – NERA.ie)
 
What rules govern the hours an employee may work?
 
Under the Organisation of Working Time Act, 1997, the maximum an employee should work in an average working week is 48 hours. This working week average should be calculated over a four-month period. There are however some exceptions to this average period.
(a)    Breaks
Employees are entitled to;
·       A daily rest period of 11 consecutive hours per 24 hours
·       A weekly rest period of 24 consecutive hours per seven days, following a daily rest period
·       A 15-minute break if working 4.5 hours.
·       A 30-minute break if working six hours.
Payment for breaks is not a statutory entitlement. are covered by Registered Employment Agreements (REA's) and Employment Regulation Orders (ERO's), which may contain regulations regarding breaks.
(b)    Sundays
If not already included in the rate of pay, employees are generally entitled to a premium payment for Sunday working or paid time off in lieu. Some industries have REA’s containing regulations on Sunday working.
(Source – NERA.ie)
What are the entitlements to pay for annual leave and public holidays?
All employees, full-time, part-time, temporary or casual earn annual leave entitlements from the time they start work. Most employees are entitled to four weeks’ paid annual leave per leave year.
Your employer determines the timing of your annual leave,best replica watches taking into consideration work and personal requirements and should consult you or your union in advance. Pay for the leave must be given in advance and calculated at the normal weekly rate.
 
(Source – NERA.ie)
 

 


 

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