Health and Safety

The Health and Safety at Work Act, 1974 outlines the duties of employees and employers with regards to Health and Safety at work. Section 7 states:

It shall be the duty of every employee while at work:

(a) to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work; and

(b) as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with.

In addition, Section 8 of the Act states:

No person shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare in pursuance of any of the relevant statutory provisions

Furthermore, as a Council employee we request that you:

  • familiarise yourself with the Council’s policy on health and safety, which can be viewed on the intranet or may be requested from your line manager.
  • immediately report any accidents or near misses to your line manager in order that it can be recorded in the relevant Accident or Incident Book or online (using the IR1 form)
  • ensure that you understand the fire procedure for the area where you work.



  • make sure you know the local emergency procedures, e.g. fire, accident, spillage etc. and the location of your nearest first aiders;
  • follow instructions


  • interfere with or misuse any items or materials provided for dealing with emergencies;
  • attempt to deal with a fire before sounding the alarm;
  • put yourself at risk.

Accidents, Incidents, Near Misses and Health Problems


  • report all accidents, incidents and near misses to your Line Manager;
  • contact the nearest first aider if necessary;
  • make your supervisor aware of any medical condition that may put your health and safety at risk or which might necessitate specialised first aid/medical treatment.


Most accidents and ill health from work are avoidable! Usually they are caused by a combination of events. Many accidents are caused because a person did the wrong thing or failed to do the right thing. Your carelessness could cause you serious injury and/or may also endanger other people and could cause serious damage to equipment and buildings.

  • work tidily;
  • follow instructions;
  • ensure cuts and other wounds are adequately covered;
  • wear the correct personal protective equipment, e.g. gloves, hairnets, eye protectors, ear defenders etc.


  • carry out hazardous work alone;
  • interfere with or misuse any items or materials provided for dealing with emergencies;
  • operate equipment that you are not trained to use.


A workstation is a place where people sit or stand to work. Working at a poorly designed or set out
workstation will lead to discomfort and may result in long term or even permanent damage to health.

  • adjust your workstation, including chair, computer equipment etc. to suit you before use;
  • avoid excessive bending, stretching etc.;
  • vary your work pattern so that you have regular breaks away from your workstation;
  • report problems early to your line manager so that arrangements for a detailed assessment can be

Manual Handling

Manual handling includes lifting, carrying and putting down, pushing and pulling. Accidents due to poor manual handling are one of the main causes of injury at the University.

  • try to minimise the amount of manual handling you do;
  • check the load before handling;
  • check the suitability of the route and the place you are going to deposit the load;
  • ask for help if necessary;
  • use equipment provided to assist manual handling, e.g. trolleys, hoists etc.;
  • hold the load at waist height, close to the body;
  • avoid twisting-turn your feet instead;
  • bend your knees to lift or lower a load;
  • ask for training;
  • make sure you are in charge of the load, not the load in charge of you!


  • try to lift loads that are too heavy or awkward;
  • hold loads at arms length;
  • bend your spine.

More info

There is a wealth of information regarding Health and Safety on the Corporate Health and Safety Cardinet Pages. Click here to read more.