IOSH tells Irish safety professionals: 'It's time to shine'

07 October 2014

Safety and Health professionals have a key role to play in ensuring sustainable growth of Ireland’s economy post-recession.

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That’s the message from the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health, which has stressed how putting workers’ health and safety first can save lives and money

Liam Howe, chairman of the IOSH Ireland Branch, highlighted this message in a presentation given at the National Irish Safety Organisation’s (NISO)/Health and Safety Authority (HSA) Safety Conference 2014.

He said: “I feel now more than ever is the time for our accredited safety professionals to shine. It is their job to spell out to their employer what we here all know –that good health and safety management saves lives and money.

“As Ireland emerges from recession there are dangers that the necessary efficiencies which have been gained in businesses will not allow for expenditure and parallel investment in the areas of safety and health.

“Whilst there may be an understandable reticence and fear of increasing overheads and expenditure to take account of essential safety and health management, particularly in the construction sector where the employment losses were greatest, failure to do so will lead to a rapid increase in poor practise and a resultant increase in incidents and accidents.

“This would undo the fine work and clear improvements in safety and health which had been achieved.”

Liam addressed delegates on the future of safety and health in Irish workplaces at the conference, which was held at the Mullingar Park Hotel, in Mullingar, County Westmeath, on 2-3 October.

The conference centred around the theme ‘safety is a Mindset’ and was co-hosted by NISO and the Health and Safety Authority, which celebrated 25 years since its establishment in 1989.

Liam outlined the positive impact of the Safety Health and Welfare at Work Act 1989 over the past 25 years, but stressed there is still much to do to achieve IOSH’s vision of a world of work that is safe, healthy and sustainable.

IOSH launched its Lif€ Savings Ireland campaign in February to highlight how workplace injury and ill health are costing the Irish economy around €3 billion and one million working days a year.

Liam said: “We want and need to help businesses here in Ireland get the most out of health and safety management, so they can save money, keep their workforce safe and stay on the right side of the law.”

For more information about the IOSH Lif€ Savings Ireland campaign, visit www.iosh.co.uk/lifesavingsireland.

Image: Liam Howe, chairman of the IOSH Ireland Branch.