By Industrial Relations Officer

PDFORRA has engaged with military management over the past number of weeks on several issues related to the health and safety of personnel.

Military management for its part has recently published an “Advisory Notice- Compilation of Operational Risk Assessments”.  This notice states that:

“The developing COVID-19 situation in Ireland has and will present the DF with unprecedented challenges and risks. During the crisis, the health, safety and welfare of our personnel will always remain our centre of gravity, so that we remain ‘fit to operate’, and therefore available to defend, protect and support the State and the citizens of Ireland for the duration of the crisis.”

Further, the notice goes on to point out that:

While we (the Defence Forces) may be exempted from abiding by certain elements of these regulations and TTPs in the execution of operational activities, as a matter of best practice and where operationally practicable the DF will continue to carry out risk assessments for planned operational activities.”

Therefore, the document goes on to provide the following guidance:

  1. The person in control of an operational activity (IC Activity) shall conduct a risk assessment before the operational activity commences.
  • The Risk Assessment shall be passed to the Unit/Sub-Unit Commander for review and sign- off. The only acceptable risk which Unit/Sub-Unit Commanders may undertake for operational activities, without higher authority, shall be LOW risk.
  • Operationally-deployed DF personnel may encounter unplanned, potentially high-risk situations or incidents at any time in the course of their duties. In these situations, commanders should carry out a subjective assessment, usually in rapidly changing circumstances, in order to implement the control measures necessary to provide for an acceptable level of risk.
  • All relevant personnel shall be briefed on the risk assessment and necessary controls before an activity commence.

Members are requested to familiarise themselves will the full content of the Risk Advisory Notice, and additional related publications, such as the guidance document issued on the use of Personal Protective Equipment and maintenance of safe DF workstations and meeting rooms.

Please Display on Notice Boards                                      Issued on: 3/4/2020

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