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The national legislation governs the health, safety and welfare of employees in Ireland, a lot of which is derived from European Directives. The primary piece of legislation that outlines the main requirements for securing health and safety in all workplaces is the Safety, Health and Welfare at Work Act, 2005. Regardless of size, risks, or operations, it applies to all workplaces, at all times and all employers.
The Act delegates duties and responsibilities to all individuals involved in the workplace. Those employers whom have the most influence on risk have to satisfy a greater range of duties. Nevertheless, employees also have duties under this Act also. This Act also allows for a maximum penalty of €3 million and/or up to two years sentenced in prison for breaching health and safety legislation.
There are numerous regulations that apply to work places in Ireland that provide additional information on the regulatory requirements under primary legislation (Acts). The Safety, Health, and Welfare at Work (General Application) Regulations, 2007-2016 is the main regulation that contains many of the provisions which is applicable to the majority of all workplaces. These regulations present several European Directives which all deal with specific topics and issues. These regulations were designed to amalgamate and revise many of the existing regulations into one set of regulations which operate in conjunction with the 2005 Act.