PF2 Phase 4 Module 6 Communications Unit 1 An Outline of the legislation around Health and Safety

PF2 Phase 4 Module 6 Communications Unit 1

An Outline of the legislation around Health and Safety, Welfare, Data Protection and Copyright Pertaining to the Construction Industry.

Name: Brian O’Connor
Apprenticeship No:
Date:

Introduction
In this essay, I will be talking about the topics below and how it affects the construction industry.
? Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005, Health and Safety Authority
? Data Protection Act 1988
? Freedom of Information Act 2014
? Copyright ; Related Rights Act 2000

Legislation
? Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005
In 2005, the government brought in an act, the Safety, Health and Welfare at work Act. The act lays out duties and the responsibilities of employers and employees in relation to safety and health while on site/ workshop.

The duties of the employer included the following:
• General Duties of Employer
• Information of Employees
• Instruction, Training ; Supervision
• Safety Statement
• Emergency Procedure
• Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment
• Safety Officer

The duties of the employee are as followed:
• Not to engage improper conduct or dangerous behaviour
• Attend training
• Report to work
• Not under the influence of drink or drugs

? Safety Statement
Section 20 of the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act 2005 requires that a company/business produce a written programme to safeguard
• The safety and health of employees while at work on site/joinery workshop.
• The safety and health of other people who might visit the site/ joinery workshop .ie. Clients, architects, engineers, QS and to take extra precaution for them.

The safety statement should relate all work related actives including:
• The selection of experience people, equipment and materials on site.
• The way methods are carried out on site.

When drawing up a safety statement, the following six steps should be considered:
1. Health and Safety Policy
2. Identify Hazards on the site
3. Assessing the risks on site
4. Deciding what precautions to take
5. Recording the findings
6. Reviewing and updating from time to time

? Health and Safety Representative
The Health and Safety Rep is a person selected by the workers to represent their concerns to their employer on matters regarding H;S issues on site. The H;S Rep will receive training usually from the unions and company. This training will cover areas such as H;S at Work Act, Hazard ID, inspections, accident investigation, safety statement.

The H;S Reps function include accompanying inspectors in carrying out inspections, accompanying an employee when been interviewed by an inspector when requested, making representation to the employer on H;S issues, making verbal and written representations to inspectors regarding accidents and dangerous occurrences.

? Health and Safety Authority
The Health and Safety Authority is a statutory body put in place by the Government to oversee the administration and enforcement of Health and Safety in Ireland. The HSA also provides advice and information to employers and employees on work place Health and Safety issues. The HSA can take a prosecution against an employer\employee for any breaches of the act.

The Health and Safety Authority are also responsible for:
• The promotion of good standards
• Work place inspections
• Investigation on serious accidents
• Sponsoring research on Health and Safety
• Providing information on Health and Safety issues
The HSA also consults with employers, employees and other organisations on matters relating to health and safety at work.

? Data Protection Act 1988
The law in Ireland dealing with data protection is called the Data Protection Act 1988/2003. The main purpose of the act is to protect the privacy and rights of an individual. People during the course of their life time give personal data to Government Bodies (Revenue) and private bodies ( Banks, Doctors, Insurance companies). These bodies are known as data controllers. There is an onus on these bodies to make sure that the data (information held on computer and on paper) is accurate and safely secured and only made available to those legally entitled to it. If an individual is not satisfied with how his her data is held and protected that person may seek the assistance from the Data Protection Commissioner who is responsible for ensuring that Data controller meets there legal obligation and that the individuals rights are upheld under the Act.

The Data Protection Act confers legal responsibilities on Data controllers in relation to data held by them on an individual. They must make sure that the data is:
1. Obtained fairly
2. Hold it for a legal purpose
3. Process it for the purpose for which it was given
4. Keep it secured
5. Keep it accurate and up to data
6. Make sure it is adequate and relevant
7. Hold on to it for no longer than necessary
8. Give a copy of the data held on request to the individual
Many of the large construction firms in Ireland now have data stored and held on individuals ( Clients, Suppliers, Engineers, Architects, employers) It is necessary for them to have a system in place to protect this data from illegal access by others either within the company or from without (Hackers). This data includes personal information on clients such as banking details, credit ratings, addresses, contracts, and Insurance. Employee Information would include Bank details, working history, discipline record, sick records and jobs worked on.

? Freedom of Information Act 2014
The Freedom of Information Act came into operation in 2014. The act states that a person has a legal right to access any information/records on the person which is held by any organisation or public body. Eg.Government departments, local authorities and HSE. They must give an individual a copy of their own personal data on request.

A FOI request is usually made in writing to the Government Departments/bodies that hold the records that you are looking for. The request should state that it is been made under the FOI Act. On receipt of the request the FOI body shall reply to the request with in two weeks.

Bodies with restricted access:
1. Government – cabinet meetings
2. Dail and Courts
3. Army, Gardai,- State security.
4. Department of Finance – commercially sensitive information

FOI Officer in Public Body
All public bodies will have a FOI Officer. This officer may also be the Data Protection officer as well. He will be responsible for managing all the bodies FOI requests made to it by the public and that they are replied to within the required time frame. He will make sure that any changes in the legislation are updated within the body and adhered to. He will also make sure that staffs are properly trained in dealing with FOI requests and that he/she will liaise with the officer of the Information Commissioner.

Office of the Information Commissioner

The OIC is the independent appeals body that deals with Freedom of Information in Ireland. Its job is to review FOI decisions made by public bodies. Peter Tyndall is the Information Commissioner in Ireland. The OIC provides a publication scheme on line and it also publishes an annual report.

? Copyright ; Related Rights Act 2000
Copyright is a law that gives “the creator of original work exclusive rights for its use and distribution”

Copyright covers the following:
• Images and Films
• Books and Magazines
• Music and Recordings

The creator of the work has the right to ban others from
• Performing the work
• Broadcasting or performing the work
• Copying the work

Words and there meaning contained in the Copyright Act.
• Database – “means a collection of independent works, data or other materials, arranged in systematic or methodical way and individually accessible by any means”.
• Author – “means the person who creates a work”.
• Duration – “last for 70 years after the death of the author”.
• License – “means license to undertake or authorise the under taking of any of the acts restricted by copyright”

Conclusion

_______________________ Date:
Brian O’Connor

References
www.hsa.ie
www.datprotection.ie
www.oireachtas.ie
www.oic.gov.ie
www.patentsoffice.ie
www.foi.gov.ie
www.cizitensinformation.ie
www.irishstatuebook.ie
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