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HSA appoints new chief executive officer

Health and Safety Authority
Ireland's Health and Safety Authority has appointed its new CEO

Conor O’Brien to take over as CEO of Ireland’s Health and Safety Authority in May 2023

IRELAND’s Health and Safety Authority (HSA) has announced the appointment of Conor O’Brien as its new chief executive officer.

An experienced leader who has spent more than 15 years in senior executive roles, Mr O’Brien has worked in both the public and private sectors in the insurance, banking, technology and services industries. Prior to his current role at KBC Bank Ireland, he was chief executive of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board.


The HSA says his considerable experience in the public sector and strong corporate, strategic and operational expertise makes him an ideal leader to deliver strategic transformation, building on the work of his predecessors and the HSA team.

Announcing the appointment, Tom Coughlan, chairman of the HSA, said: ‘On behalf of the board, I’m delighted to announce the appointment of Conor O’Brien as CEO of the HSA. We welcome Conor and recognize his considerable knowledge, experience and the insight that he will bring to the role and to the organization. The board looks forward to working with him and is confident his leadership will ensure the HSA continues to deliver on its strategic mission.

‘I would also like to extend my sincere gratitude to Mark Cullen for his commitment and dedication to the HSA during his term as interim CEO. His leadership ensured the continued successful delivery of our strategy, while navigating important issues that have arisen in recent months.’

Welcoming Mr O’Brien’s appointment, the Minister of State for Employment Affairs and Retail Business, Neale Richmond TD, said: ‘On behalf of the Government, I wish to congratulate Conor on his appointment as CEO of the Health and Safety Authority. Conor will lead the Authority as it completes its reorganization, which will position the HSA to proactively address the challenges of a changing working environment domestically and globally.

‘I will support Conor and the board of the HSA as they continue to strive to protect the health and safety of workers across Ireland and as they support employers in operating their businesses in a safe manner that both protects their workers and also ensures business continuity, productivity and growth.

‘I would also like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Sharon McGuinness, who resigned as CEO last October, for her strong leadership of the HSA over the last few years, especially during the challenges of the recent COVID-19 pandemic.’

Looking forward to taking up the role, Mr O’Brien said: ‘I am very pleased to be taking up the role of chief executive of the HSA and working with the team to continue the important role that it carries out. I look forward to working with the chairperson and the board to achieve the HSA's strategic ambitions as well as the further development of the organization in the coming years.’

Mr O’Brien is scheduled to take up the position in May 2023.


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