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Occupational Health

Occupational Health

Occupational Health is the promotion and maintenance of physical and mental wellbeing of all staff. Health problems directly related to a person’s job are defined as an occupational illness.

Some hazards, such as skin contact with chemicals causing short-term irritation and/or rashes are known as acute illnesses. For more information try our fully online Chemical Safety course. Chronic illnesses develop gradually and their effects may be irreversible, e.g. loss of hearing. Some may even appear years after the time of employment, e.g. asbestosis. For more information try our fully online Asbestos Awareness course.


Specific Health Hazards


General Health Hazards

As well as specific health hazards there are some general things that may affect all workplaces:


Smoking and passive smoking have been linked to lung cancer, irritation to the respiratory system and other harmful effects. The Public Health (Tobacco) (Amendment) Act 2004 (No. 6 of 2004) placed a ban on smoking at all enclosed places of work from 29/03/04 to protect persons at work from exposure to environmental tobacco smoke. This includes office blocks, aircraft, trains, company vehicles, health premises, schools, colleges, cinemas, theatres, licensed premises and clubs, if any of these places is your place of work. The smoking ban also applies to common areas within buildings. This means, for example, that corridors, lobby areas and reception areas of buildings such as apartment blocks and hotels are also covered. For more information, please consult Citizens Information service. In addition, try our fully online Workplace Safety course.



Alcohol increases the time it takes to react to situations, affects behaviour and reduces performance. For more information try our fully online Behavioral Safety course.



Substance abuse may cause health problems and can cause safety hazards in the workplace. Many drugs are particularly dangerous because they cause mood changes and alter people’s perceptions. Even prescribed drugs may have a detrimental effect. As with alcohol, the condition must be addressed. For more information try our fully online Behavioral Safety course.



Verbal abuse, threats, bullying or assault can cause stress and concern as well as physical injury. Staff should be encouraged to report all occurrences to their supervisors who should record and objectively investigate the details and if necessary report to the relevant authority. For more information try our fully online Bullying Awareness course.



A large percentage of sick leave is due to stress, either due to personal reasons or the physical or emotional pressure of the job. Stomach and skin conditions, heart disease and depression have been linked to stress. Factors influencing stress in the workplace include poor working conditions, overwork, job insecurity, peer pressure including harassment, unrealistic targets and poor management.

Employees should be encouraged to report stress and management should be trained to recognise the symptoms and causes of stress such as inability or reduced ability to cope with normal tasks and situations, increased sick leave and/or poor time-keeping. For more information try our fully online Workplace Stress Awareness course.


It is very important to have an effective occupational health management system in place. There are sound economic reasons for reducing work-related accidents and ill-health, as well as ethical and regulatory reasons. Businesses that manage safety and health successfully invariably have a positive safety culture. Health and Safety training helps establish a culture in which employees themselves help promote proper safety procedures while on the job. It is important that new employees be properly trained and embrace the importance of workplace safety. The role of training in developing and maintaining effective hazard control activities is a proven and successful method of intervention.


For online Health and Safety training solutions, please check our Online Health and Safety Training portal.

Myelearnsafety offers fully online Health and Safety courses.

To find out more, please check our Courses page.

Alternatively, should you need any additional information, please do not hesitate to let us know via email

First Aid in Hospitality

We at My Elearn Safety are always looking to share valuable information with our followers. The people over at Research Gate have written a great publication on First Aid Responsibilities for Hotels and Resorts. ResearchGate is the professional network for scientists and researchers. Over 15 million members from all over the world use it to share, discover, and discuss research.

First Aid – Implications for Hotels and Resorts

Like other workplaces, hotels and resorts have health and safety duties in relation to first aid under the new code, which provides:


“A person conducting a business or undertaking has the primary duty under the
WHS Act to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, that workers
persons are not exposed to health and safety risks arising from the business or


The WHS Regulations place specific obligations on a person conducting a business or under- taking in relation to first aid, including requirements to:

While the focus of the new Code is on protecting workers and ensuring workplaces are safe, compliance also offers a wide safety net for visitors and guests. Indeed, in planning first aid resources the Code specifically recommends consideration of other people at the workplace who are not workers, for example, students in workplaces such as schools, members of the public in places of entertainment, fairgrounds and shopping centres.


The publication goes on to include:

Continue reading publication here.

Have a look at our course here.


Working at heights can kill you

How working at heights can seriously harm you

If you are in a job where you have to take risks and are working at heights, it is imperative that you are protected. It is your employer’s duty of care but it is also your responsibility too. Your employer needs to make sure that there are certain safety procedures and protocol in place.  To adhere and comply with health and safety regulation.

It is also up to you to be safe and make sure your colleagues are too. Risk assessments needs to be carried out in every place of work in every sector.

There have been many deaths due to falls and collapses in Ireland with 21 of the overall total falls from heights in farming.

There are many work procedures for working at heights and here are some:

Requirements for employers

The Work at Height Regulations require employers to ensure that:

It should include a careful examination of what harm could be caused from working at height with a view to taking the effective steps to reduce the likelihood of this harm occurring, either through avoiding the activity or, where this is not reasonably practicable, by carrying it out in a safe manner using work equipment that is appropriate to the task and the level of risk.

If you want to know more about risk assessment to decide the best, take our working at heights online course. We will be able to help you to plan and organise, give you the correct legislation and safe work procedures using a ladder, MEWP and work platforms.

Vehicles continue to be the biggest killers on Irish Farms

Vehicles continue to be the biggest killers on Irish Farms. Quad fatalities represent 19% of all farm vehicle fatalities the past 10 years (2008 – 2017)

75% of those that suffered fatal quad accidents were aged 60 years or older and over 25% were aged between 20-49 years of age.

In general roll-over bars are not provided with Quads because traditional roll over bar design depended for its effectiveness on the operator wearing a seat belt otherwise there was a risk of the thrown operator being struck by the bars in the event of a roll over.

More recently roll-over protection devices have appeared on the market designed for use with Quads with one of which has been certified in accordance with the requirements of the European Communities Machinery Directive and the Authority has been asked for its view on these devices. Fitting of CE Marked Roll-Over Protection Devices (ROPs), now available on the market for all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) or Quads, is at the discretion of the owner/operator.

The Health and Safety Authority does not have sufficient information at this time to form a view on the effectiveness of these novel designs and thus is not issuing an instruction or recommendation in respect of such devices.