These safety representative training guidelines are aimed at employers, employees, safety representatives, safety committee members and safety and health practitioners. They are a guide to sections 25 and 26 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 (No. 10 of 2005), hereafter called the 2005 Act. They aim to give general guidance on the roles of each party in the process of safety consultation and representation, so that accidents and ill-health at work are prevented. The provisions of the 2005 Act apply to employers, employees in all employments and the self-employed.
To encourage a preventive approach to occupational safety and health, it also has implications for people who control workplaces, such as landlords or property companies who may have no one employed but might provide the workplace itself or essential services for use by employers and employees. Under the 2005 Act, employers, and those who control workplaces to any extent, are required to: identify the hazards and assess the risks in the workplaces they control, and prepare a written safety statement setting out the arrangements in place for securing and managing the safety, health and welfare of their employees and other people, along with the co-operation required from employees to achieve this. Designers, manufacturers, suppliers and importers of articles and substances for use at work and those who commission, design or construct places of work also have general duties under the 2005 Act.
The 2005 Act provides for consultation between employers and employees to help ensure cooperation to prevent accidents and ill-health. Under section 25 of the Act, employees are entitled to select a safety representative to represent them on safety and health matters in consultations with their employer. Section 26 sets out the arrangements for this consultation on a range of safety and health issues at the workplace. Where a safety committee exists in a workplace, it can be used for this safety representative training consultation process. These are key provisions of the 2005 Act and a central part of the preventive system of promoting safety and health at work. These safety representative training guidelines suggest how consultation on safety, health and welfare issues should be undertaken between employer and employees generally and between the employer and the safety representative(s) chosen by the employees.