Injured Worker wins right to obtain

Health and Safety Authority documents

under Freedom of Information Act

A far reaching Decision by the Information Commissioner will have important implications for the rights of injured parties to access documentation held by the Health & Safety Authority in relation to Accidents giving rise to compensation Claims and in particular accidents at work.

In the particular case to which the ruling relates the Health & Safety Authority had refused to release documents to an employee of a Sub-Contractor who was injured in an accident at work. The HSA had cited the Freedom of Information Act to justify its refusal to release the documentation but this refusal was rejected by the Information Commissioner who directed that the HSA release documents in addition to the ones it had initially agreed to release.

The Information Officer directed that the HSA release the Method Statement for roofing works at the location of the Accident prepared by the injured party’s employer (the Sub-Contractor).

The Information Officer also directed the HSA to release the Safety Management system document including the Site Specific Safety Statement prepared by the main Contractor and a Construction Stage Safety & Health Plan for the Project again prepared by the main Contractor.

This Decision will be welcomed by many representatives of persons injured at work in increasing transparency and continues a trend of increased access to documents both under Freedom of Information legislation and GDPR.

If you require any further detail or advice, please contact John Reid in O’Rourke Reid
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This document is for information purposes only and does not purport to represent legal advice.  
© O’Rourke Reid 2019