CROKE Park has become the first stadium in Europe to secure a coveted OHSAS 18001 certificate for safety.

The certificate is the globally recognised highest standard for best practice in occupational health and safety that can be awarded to a venue. Croke Park (below) is Dublin's largest tourist attraction with more than 1.5million visitors in 2013, bringing vital business to the area.

The award followed an extensive audit process that ensured the stadium's health and safety management system complied with the highest international specifications.

It included a live match day audit that was completed successfully during the All-Ireland football final on September 22.

A walk-through audit of the stadium in early November during two of the biggest commercial events it hosted was also undertaken. The day-to-day support systems and services were all inspected, including the GAA Museum and skyline tours, pitch maintenance and the security of the stadium complex.

"Immense credit is due to the hard work of our safety team here in the stadium, and our staff and our contractors, who have achieved today's result for Croke Park," said Alan Gallagher, head of stadium operations.