About Us - National Health and Safety Function (NHSF)

The National Health and Safety Function has been established to provide effective, consistent, high-quality and readily accessible support and falls under the Human Resources Directorate. Please refer to the HR Circular 015/2015 for details on the formation of the function (note the contact details for the helpdesk in the Circular are no longer valid). 

The following page provides a brief overview of the function should you wish to download the NHSF introductory pamphlet.

The Head of the Function is supported by four National Health and Safety Managers. Each of these managers is responsible for a key delivery area that is;

  • Information and Advisory
  • Policy
  • Audit and Inspection
  • Training

The Function brings about a number of important innovations and a change in emphasis in the way support is delivered nationally. This includes:

  • The establishment of an OSH Helpdesk as a single point of contact for all support requests. This will allow the tracking of emerging issues and key risk areas
  • The promotion of the concept of self-help for front-line duty-holders and the development of a tool-kit of reliable and consistent information, alerts, templates and guidance documents
  • A reduced emphasis on classroom-based face-to-face training in favour of a national blended learning strategy (greater use of e-learning and web-based training), supporting a new policy on statutory OSH training
  • The introduction of best practice based OSH policy development and approval processes
  • An increased emphasis on assurance, benchmarking and quality improvement, through Key Performance Indicators and the introduction of a structured audit and inspection programme that aims to examine OSH management at all levels

Outline of Team Core Functions

Overall the intention of this reorganisation is to combine existing expertise and best-practice around the country and provide a high-quality, centralised support resource that motivates, enables and empowers managers and staff to discharge their legal and moral duties with regard to OSH management.


The Information & Advisory Team has been established as the first point of contact for all health & safety services such as Advice and Support, Training, Policy and Audit and Inspection. 

Information and Advisory Team offers the following supports:

  • Standardised/national documentation (aids/templates, etc.) and guidance
  • Timely access to specialist health and safety expertise and advice, regardless of geographical location
  • A single point of access for all services provided by the function
  • A structured & prioritised response to support requests
  • Health and Safety information and documentation
  • 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
  • Periodic, ad hoc alerts and updates on emerging health and safety issues/ issues of concern
  • Access to an on-line health and safety information resource/dedicated web site

To log a request for health & safety information, advice or support please log your request to the health and safety helpdesk at: http://pndchssdweb02.healthirl.net/Health.WebAccess/ss 

If you have already registered with this site then please go to: http://pndchssdweb02.healthirl.net/Health.SafetyDesk for automatic logon.


The role of the Policy Team is to develop and review national Health and Safety Policies, Procedures and Guidelines (PPPGs) within the HSE. This will be done through:

  • Extensive consultation with internal and external stakeholders
  • Provision of guidance and advice on policy implementation  
  • The provision of support on the launch of PPPGs
  • Review of policy implementation through a process of onsite surveys
  • At national level, provide high level advice, strategy and direction in relation to the transport of Dangerous Goods


The Audit & Inspection Team forms a vital role in providing assurances to the organisation on OSH matters. An outline of the team core functions is given below:

  • A structured audit programme initially using two levels of audits:
    • 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
  • Provide 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
  • Establish of National frameworks in relation to specialist OSH assessments e.g. ergonomic and Occupational Hygiene services


The Training Team is responsible for supporting the HSE in the development and delivery of statutory occupational safety and health training.


  • Assists employees in acquiring the skills and knowledge necessary to support them in the implementation of safe work practices, and
  • Helps to create a positive health and safety work culture

The main objectives and functions of the Training Team are to:

  • Harmonise training from a national perspective
  • Ensure that training is accessible to all and delivered in a consistent, effective and efficient manner
  • Develop a programme of training which is based on legislative requirements and the needs of the HSE and supports management and staff in achieving a safe working environment and safe work practices
  • Provide advice and support in accessing specialist training
  • Develop additional health and safety programmes which will enhance health and safety awareness and understanding in the HSE.

To book/request training please complete the Training Request Form and submit to the health and safety helpdesk at: http://pndchssdweb02.healthirl.net/Health.WebAccess/ss

If you have already registered with this site then please go to: http://pndchssdweb02.healthirl.net/Health.SafetyDesk.