The HSA has appealed to farmers and construction workers not to subject cattle slats to vehicular traffic under any circumstances.   

Safety appeal made to farmers working with slats after fatal accident

All slats should be subject to regular integrity monitoring after 10 to 15 years.

The Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has issued an urgent safety appeal to farmers following a fatal accident involving construction work on a farm.

The appeal is focused on concrete slats. The HSA has reminded farmers that cattle slats should not be subject to vehicular traffic under any circumstances. Tractor slats are designed for a maximum axle load of 7.8t, and this weight should not be exceeded.

The HSA also recommends that all slats be subject to regular integrity monitoring after 10 to 15 years. Farmers are asked not to enter tanks even when they are empty.

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COVID 19 – Advice for Employers

The outbreak of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) has evolved rapidly.  The Department of Health is leading the government response in Ireland to this national public health risk and is providing up to date information and advice on its website at:

The Health Protection Surveillance Centre HPSC is also providing advice for the public and for specific groups and settings including employers, healthcare professionals, education settings and religious settings.

Exposure to COVID-19 may present a health risk to workers and other persons at a workplace. Therefore, employers are required to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that an appropriate assessment of the risk for COVID-19 in their workplace is carried out. Suitable control measures should be identified and implemented to mitigate the risk of COVID-19 infection. These measures should be communicated to all relevant employees and others at the place of work. 

Control measures will depend on the level of risk and type of workplace. For example, in workplaces where COVID-19 presents an occupational exposure hazard such as healthcare establishments, testing laboratories, immigration control etc., detailed biological agents risk assessments are required. These will need regular review and updating and will be based on current best practice in relation to infection prevention and control. Further information on employer duties under the Biological Agents Regulations is available here on the HSA website.

For other workplaces where there is a lower potential for exposure to COVID-19, employers should take into account the most up to date official advice and guidance from the Department of Health and the Health Protection Surveillance Centre on how to mitigate the health risk to employees and others at the place of work. This should also include measures advised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade for work related travel.

Employees should follow the public health official advice and guidance including ensuring good hygiene practices, such as frequent hand washing and respiratory etiquette, to protect against infections and should seek professional healthcare advice if unwell.  The following video clip provides some useful advice:

For further advice see the HSA website at:

Contractor from UK fined €100,000 following exposure of workers to asbestos during construction activity in Dublin city centre 

Monday 9th March 2020 

Today, Monday 9th March, at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Judge Melanie Greally imposed a fine of €100,000 on a UK-registered construction company following an earlier guilty plea to a charge under the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work (Exposure to Asbestos Regulations) 2006 and 2010. 

The case arose following the exposure of a number of workers to asbestos fibres at a construction site under their control in Dublin. On 23rd June 2016, ceiling boards containing asbestos were taken down, broken up and thrown into large black bins, thereby generating asbestos containing dust.  An investigation by the Health and Safety Authority concluded that the workers involved in this activity were exposed to asbestos, a known carcinogen.  Mark Cullen, Chief Inspector with the Health and Safety Authority said, “Exposure to asbestos fibres can lead to fatal diseases many years after exposure.  It is a key requirement of the 2006 and 2010 Asbestos Regulations that all employers, particularly in construction and demolition work involving older buildings, identify the presence of asbestos containing materials. This should be done in advance of any works commencing, thereby allowing appropriate measures to be implemented to prevent exposure to asbestos by workers or anyone else who could be affected.”

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