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What kind of information must the employer give to a safety representative?

Under Section 8 of the 2005 Act, an employer has the duty to provide “information, instruction, training and supervision necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the safety, health, and welfare at work of his or her employees” (including safety representatives). Section 9 (1) further specifies the type of information that must be supplied to all employees.
In addition, Section 9 (3) provides that safety representatives must have access to information on:

▲ risk assessments prepared under Section 19 of the 2005 Act
information on reportable accidents, occupational illnesses and dangerous occurrences
▲ any information resulting from the experience of applying protective and preventive measures required under safety and health legislation

Whenever an employer writes to a Health and Safety Authority inspector confirming compliance with an Improvement or Prohibition Notice served upon him or her, the employer must copy this confirmation to the safety representative.
The information made available to safety representatives will enable them to fulfil their functions properly and play an informed part in preventing accidents and ill-health and promoting safety and health. The type of information will vary according to the hazards and risks involved.
Safety representatives should be supplied with relevant technical information about hazards, risks and precautions connected with articles or substances used in the workplace they represent. Examples of such information include safety data sheets, relevant instruction manuals, or information, including revisions, supplied by a designer, manufacturer, importer or supplier about any article or substance which is under review from a safety and health perspective.1
Safety representatives should also be given adequate information about the workplace, the systems of work and any changes in either that would affect existing risks or precautions, including:

▲ any reports commissioned by the employer relating to occupational safety, health and welfare in the workplace

▲ information on occupational accidents and ill-health at the place of work

▲ collective data on the results of any relevant health assessments carried out (without identifying any individual)

In addition, where the particular review requires it, the employer would be expected to supply information about appropriate precautions, safeguards (such as permit-to¬work systems), measures to be taken in emergencies, including the names of employees with designated emergency duties, etc, which are currently in place or which should be provided to minimise the risks to safety and health arising from hazards at work.