Section 80 - 2005 SHWW Act
Section 80 - 2005 SHWW Act
The Safety, Health & Welfare at Work Act, 2005 places a Duty of Care on Employers to manage & conduct their work activities so as to be safe for their Employees.
The same Act places a Duty of Responsibility on Employees to work in a safe & responsible way.
The Definition of an Employer as set out in this Act includes not only the person who has a Contract of Employment with an employee, but also includes a person under whose control & direction an Employee works.
Employers may be both the Employer & Employee of the undertaking.
The legal interpretation of a “Person” also covers the entity within which the work is carried out.
Section 80 of the Safety, Health & Welfare at Work 2005 Act
Specific Reference to the Liability of Directors & Officers of Undertakings, as follows;
“80.(1) Where an offence under any of the relevant statutory provisions has been committed by an undertaking & the doing of the acts that constituted the offence has been authorized, or consented to by, or is attributable to connivance or neglect on the part of, a person, being a director, manager or other similar officer of the undertaking, or a person who purports to act in any such capacity, that person as well as the undertaking shall be guilty of an offence & shall be liable to be proceeded against & punished as if he or she were guilty of the first mentioned offence”
“80.(2) Where a person is proceeded against as aforesaid for such an offence & it is proved that, at the material time, he or she was a director of the undertaking concerned or a person employed by it whose duties included making decisions that, to a significant extent, could have affected the management of the undertaking, or a person who purported to act in any such capacity, it shall be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that the doing of the acts by the undertaking which constituted the commission by it of the offence concerned under any of the relevant statutory provisions was authorized, consented to or attributable to connivance or neglect on the part of that person”
“80.(3) Where the affairs of a body corporate are managed by its members, subsections (1) & (2) shall apply in relation to the acts or defaults of a member in connection with his or her functions of management as if he or she were a director of the body corporate”
Prosecutions of Directors
Directors may be prosecuted under the 2005 Act for failing to manage Safety & Health in their workplaces.
The Health & Safety Authority (HSA) can & will prosecute Directors under this Act.
Directors, Managers or other similar Officers of the undertaking may be deemed to be guilty of the same offence as the undertaking, if the doing of the acts that constituted the offence has been authorized, or consented to by, or is attributable to connivance or neglect on the part of the Director.
For example, ignoring a safety issue could constitute neglect.
Section 80 (2) goes even further, states that if a person is proceeded against under that section, then it will be presumed, until the contrary is proved, that the breach or neglect was authorized by them.
It is for the Director or Senior Management to show that they did all that could be “reasonably” expected of them under the Act & that they were not negligent.
Annbrook Safety Training can deliver a course that covers this important piece of legislation in more detail.
Contact us on (086) 0600 747 for more information.