Employers Responsibilities Under Health and Safety Legislation

Following a recent work-related injury incurred by a pharmacy employee in the course of their employment, the Health and Safety Authority (HSA) remind pharmacy employers of their duty under health and safety legislation to report certain categories of work-related accidents and dangerous occurrences to the HSA. This includes certain categories of work-related sharps injuries.

The HSA's Guidance on the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work explains why accident and dangerous occurrence reporting is required, what is and is not reportable, who should make the report and how the report should be made.

The guide outlines key points in relation to reporting of accidents and dangerous occurrences:

  • Only fatal and non-fatal injuries are reportable. Diseases, occupational illnesses or any impairments of mental condition are not reportable.
  • Fatal accidents must be reported immediately to the HSA or Gardaí. Subsequently, the formal report should be submitted to the HSA within five working days of the death.
  • Non-fatal accidents or dangerous occurrences should be reported to the HSA within ten working days of the event.
  • Injuries to any employee as a result of an accident while at work where the injury results in the employee being unable to carry out their normal work duties for more than three consecutive days, excluding the day of the accident, must be reported to the HSA.

The HSA's Guide to the Prevention of Sharps Injuries in the Healthcare Sector provides information on the implementation of regulations relating to the protection of healthcare employees at risk of injury from sharps. The regulations require an appropriate response in the event of a sharps-related incident occurring.

Work-related sharps injuries must be reported using the HSA’s online reporting system where:

  • A work-related sharps injury results in an employee being prevented from carrying out their normal work for more than three consecutive days.
  • The incident could cause severe human infection/human illness, for example, a percutaneous injury with a contaminated sharp where the source patient is known or found to be positive for hepatitis B, hepatitis C or HIV.

More information on how to report an injury or dangerous occurrence is available on the HSA website.

Please note that the PSI does not regulate the provisions of health and safety legislation. This notice is provided for information and to assist with raising awareness among all PSI registrants about their obligations to report to the HSA.