HSA Launches Annual Competition for Nursing Undergraduates with Focus on Psycho-social Risks

Tuesday 7th October 2014

The Health and Safety Authority has today (Tuesday 7th October) announced details of its third annual Occupational Safety and Health competition, which is open to 3rd and 4th year undergraduates from all fields of nursing and midwifery programmes. The competition will require students to use problem-based learning to address key learning outcomes around occupational safety and health in the nursing curriculum.  

Health and Safety Authority Education Manager, Joanne Harmon said: “Colleges are invited to enter teams from within their nursing undergraduate cohort.  Teams of three work together and will make a written submission to the Authority.  Following short-listing, finalist teams will be invited to make a brief presentation before a judging panel. Certificates of achievement, as well as prizes, will be awarded to the top three teams.”

The closing date to register a team(s) is Tuesday 14th October 2014 and the closing date for competition submissions will be 17:00, Thursday 11th December 2014.

Senior Inspector for Healthcare and Public Sector Strategy, Anne Maria O’Connor said: “The focus of this year’s competition is psychosocial risk and work-related stress. These risks can be managed as any other workplace health and safety risk and there is increasing demands on all healthcare organisations to demonstrate good governance in relation to the safety and health of its workforce.”

Ms O’Connor added, “All nursing professionals need to have a sound understanding of occupational safety and health and be able to apply this knowledge in their everyday working life.   A safe working environment facilitates nursing professionals to provide optimum care which benefits both patient and carer.”

The healthcare sector is one of the largest employers in Ireland, employing 13% of our workforce (or about 240,000 people).  Nurses are the main occupational group in this sector. The sector accounted for approximately 22% of non-fatal work-related accidents and incidents reported to the Authority in 2013. The highest number of reported incidents, year on year, are related to manual handling work activities (including patient handling) followed by slips, trips and falls and work related violence and aggression.