The National Health and Safety Function (NHSF), part of the Human Resources directorate, provides health and safety support to HSE employees.
HR Circular 015/2015 provides details on the formation of the service (note: the contact details for the helpdesk in the Circular are no longer valid).
The service is made up of a head of function, supported by four national health and safety managers. Each manager is responsible for a key delivery area:
- Information and Advisory
- Audit and Inspection
NHSF combines expertise and best practice from around the country to provide a centralised OSH support resource for managers and staff.
The service innovates how support is delivered nationally, which includes:
- establishment of an OSH Helpdesk - a single-point-of-contact for support requests. This allows the tracking of emerging issues and key risk areas
- promotion of self-help for front-line duty-holders and development of a tool kit of reliable and consistent information, alerts, templates and guidance documents
- provision of a blended learning strategy (greater use of e-learning and web-based training) in line with the OSH training policy
- development of national OSH policies through a robust approval processes
- increased emphasis on assurance, benchmarking and quality improvement, through key performance indicators
- introduction of a structured audit and inspection programme that aims to examine OSH management
Information and Advisory team
The Information and Advisory team is the first point of contact for:
- health and safety support and advice
Support offered by the team includes:
- health and safety information and standardised documentation (aids/templates) and guidance
- timely access to specialist health and safety expertise and advice, regardless of geographical location
- website providing reliable and accurate health and safety information
- single point of access for services
- structured and prioritised response to support requests
- access to health and safety templates, guidance and other resources to assist Responsible Persons in managing day-to-day health and safety tasks and complying with statutory duties
- safety alerts and updates on emerging health and safety issues
The Policy team develops and reviews national health and safety policies, procedures and guidelines (PPPGs) within the HSE.
This is done through:
- extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders
- provision of guidance and advice on policy implementation
- review of policy implementation through a process of onsite surveys
- provide high level advice, strategy and direction in relation to the transport of dangerous goods
Audit and Inspection team
The Audit and Inspection team provides assurances on OSH matters to the organisation.
The Audit and Inspection team provides a structured audit programme:
- Level 1 audit refers to a base line audit completed at ward/department level
- Level 2 audit refers to audit completed at a hospital/service level
- specialist inspections and audits following requests through national helpdesk
- provides assistance in investigations where a set criterion has been met
- reviewing for assurance purposes, data gathered in relation to OSH incidents and Health & Safety Authority (HSA) correspondence
The Training team is responsible for supporting the HSE in the development and delivery of statutory occupational safety and health training.
The main objectives and functions of the Training team are to:
- harmonise training from a national perspective
- ensure that training is accessible and delivered consistently, effectively and efficiently
- develop a training programme based on legislative requirements and HSE needs, and supports staff in achieving a safe working environment and work practices
- provide advice and support in accessing specialist training
- develop additional health and safety programmes to enhance health and safety awareness and understanding in the HSE
Register for the Health and Safety helpdesk at my health and safety self-service
If you are already registered, access the health and safety helpdesk here
Once registered, you can log requests for health and safety support at any time.
Phone 1800 420 420 Monday to Friday 10.30am to 12 noon and 2.00pm to 3.30pm