Health & Safety Jobs Careers in Ireland increase by 30%

Ireland’s economic performance has been a significant factor in adding to the increase in health and safety jobs and careers. The demand for qualified Health & Safety professionals in Ireland has never been better and has increased by 30% since 2012, from 8 key industry sectors.

The total number of health & safety jobs in Ireland is estimated to be 16,867  and last year 2,053 jobs were advertised across a range of sectors from a low of 1,520 jobs in 2012. This excludes any jobs advertised by employers internally. This figure is set to increase until end of 2018, when Ireland is expected to reach full employment.

In the past three years, the HSA, Health Safety Authority annual reports have confirmed there is in excess of 10,000 total number of accidents annually. The highest sector experiencing workplace accidents is construction with the lowest sector out of 8 sectors, the mining sector.

1. Construction
2. Agriculture
3. Chemicals
4. Wholesale/retail sector
5. Transport/Storage
6. Manufacturing
7. Healthcare
8. Mines/ Quarries

The sectors showing most employment growth from 2014-2017, include those with traditionally high occupational injury levels such as agriculture, forestry and fishing, construction, accommodation and food. Employment also grew in sectors with lower risks including Professional, Scientific and Technical activities and Administrative Services. With less than 5,000 new home units built in 2016 and the same forecast for 2017, the construction sector has increased its output since 2012, and it is likely the number of workplace accidents will exponentially increase as this sector grows.

Accidents at work

Workplace deaths has increased from 2013. The more people back at work the higher the possibility of fatal accidents. In 2014,. there were 7,400 plus non fatal accidents at work. Manual handling accounts for on average 33.3% of non fatal injuries.

An accident at work is defined in European Statistics Accidents at Work ESAW methodology as a discrete occurrence during the course of work which leads to physical or mental harm. Fatal accidents at work are those that lead to the death of the victim within one year.

Non-fatal accidents at work often involve considerable harm for the workers concerned and their families and they have the potential to force people, for example, to live with a permanent disability, to leave the labour market, or to change job; indeed, they result in a considerable number of days of work being lost within the European economy.

According to the ESRI, (Trends and Patterns in Occupational Health and Safety in Ireland Helen Russell, Bertrand Maître, Dorothy Watson: 2015) men are significantly more likely to experience work-related injuries than women. This occurs even when a wide variety of relevant working conditions and sectors are controlled.

The risk of work-related injuries is persistently higher in construction, Farming/ forestry/fishing, health, the accommodation and food sector, and industry. Turning to occupational illness, it is found that the risk is significantly greater in the agriculture, construction, transport and health sectors (excluding health, retail and accommodation and food services).

Health & Safety Salaries on the increase

Salaries in Ireland are on the increase.  According to Sigmar Recruitment 2016 survey, a typical Health & Safety officer with 3 years experience is expected to earn 45K annually. A qualified Health & Safety Manager with 5 years experience is expected to earn 55K -90K per annum. In the UK, the salaries are 10% higher.

There are reports of difficulties of finding qualified health & safety graduates with the right Diploma qualification combined with some experience. Those applicants that meet the criteria for the role at junior, middle or senior level Health & Safety officers are getting significant ‘offers’ over and above the guided Salary rate.

It has never been a better time to make a move and career into the Health & Safety Profession. The main issue for recruitment agencies appears to be availability of the right candidates. With Ireland forecast to be hitting 5-6% unemployment levels by end of 2018, then the demand for the right candidate has become more difficult. Many applicants don’t have health & safety qualifications and experience which is vital in this profession.

Health & Safety Job Role

The Health & Safety job role is wide and varied and requires responsible, qualified and experienced persons. Typically, H&S officers/managers do the following: carry out risk assessments; consider how risks could be reduced ensure working practices are safe and comply with legislation; outline safe operational procedures which identify and take into account all relevant hazards; carry out regular site inspections to check policies and procedures are being properly implemented; prepare health and safety strategies and develop internal policy; lead in-house training with managers and employees about health and safety issues and risks; keep records of inspection findings and produce reports that suggest improvements; record incidents and accidents and produce statistics for managers; keep up to date with new legislation and maintain a working knowledge of the legislation and any developments that affect the industry;


Health & Safety Courses & Education

Joining a professional network such as becoming a member of IOSH, and completing OH&S certificate and OH&S Diploma qualifications ahs never been as important.. One course accredited by IOSH Institute of Occupational Safety & Health gives you graduate membership Grad IOSH and is the BSC Diploma in Occupational Health & Safety. 

On average 1,265 people annually choose short one day courses to one or two year long Health & Safety courses, and this figure has increased since 2014. The demand for health & safety qualifications reflects the increase in jobs.

Workers joining the traditional sectors of higher risk and workplace accidents tend to have to have a qualification to meet legislative requirements and to acquire a new role.
Increasing your knowledge through a qualification is part of the recovery and increases your ability to reduce workplace accidents. It helps inspire you to create and change the workplace to a positive health and safety culture.

Working in Occupational Health & Safety has never been so challenging and yet so rewarding.