Internet Explorer 11 (IE11) is not supported. For the best experience please open using Chrome, Firefox, Safari or MS Edge

HSA Inspection Campaign for Construction Sector

So far in 2023, the Health and Safety Authority has reported seven workplace accidents in the construction sector. Five of those tragic fatalities were a result of falls from height. In response to this, the Authority is presently carrying out a two-week inspection campaign of the construction sector. Our Health & Safety team sets out why the HSA’s campaign serves as a reminder to employers in the construction and other industries to ensure they are compliant with their health and safety obligations.

Health and safety legislation is designed to ensure the safety of workers. It applies not just to companies which directly employ workers, but can also place obligations on directors and senior managers who can be held liable for breaches of health and safety legislation. A company was recently fined €750,000 in relation to a ‘fall from height’ accident. It is important therefore, that employers, directors and senior managers ensure they are compliant with their health and safety obligations.

Key hazards

As part of the inspection campaign of the construction industry, we understand that HSA inspectors will focus in particular on key hazards related to working from height. Inspectors will be making sure that:

  • All work at height is properly planned and organised
  • A risk assessment is carried out for all work conducted at height
  • Appropriate work equipment is selected and used
  • People working at a height are competent and trained
  • Equipment used for work at height is properly inspected, maintained and records are available
  • Risks from fragile surfaces are properly controlled

Mandatory and recommended actions

To comply with their health and safety obligations, employers (including directors and senior managers) should at a minimum:

  • Carry out risk assessments for work at height activities and make sure all work is properly planned, organised, and carried out by a competent person
  • Choose the right work equipment and put in place measures to prevent falls, such as scaffolding, guardrails and working platforms
  • Follow the HSA’s ‘General Principles of Prevention’ for managing risks from work at height – take steps to avoid, prevent or reduce risks, and
  • Ensure construction workers understand the risks and comply with the safe systems of work

This is a non-exhaustive list intended for illustrative purposes only. Employers must tailor their safety systems to their specific operations and ensure they have sufficient competence to identify and mitigate risks.


The HSA’s inspection campaign provides a timely reminder to employers in the construction and other industries to ensure their safety systems are compliant. The construction sector is exposed to specific hazards and risks that must be managed effectively to reduce the risk of accidents as well as liability for companies, directors and senior managers.

Please contact a member of our Health & Safety team if you would like to discuss this area in further detail.

The content of this article is provided for information purposes only and does not constitute legal or other advice.

Share this: