Kevin Sweeney, a trade union health and safety coordinator for the Communication Workers Union (UK) and field engineer with BT Ireland was today named as the winner of the Health and Safety Representative Award for 2015.
The annual award is presented by the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) and the Irish Congress of Trade Unions (ICTU) to recognise the contribution made by health and safety representatives to the safety of employees in the workplace.
Kevin was recognised for his work in ensuring that BT colleagues and management are fully aware of their joint responsibilities for health and safety. His contribution also helped ensure that colleagues continue to be properly trained and work to the highest safety standards, using only tested and approved equipment.
A highly commended certificate was also presented to Margaret Dooley, a NIPSA health and safety representative with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust.
Presenting the award at a meeting of the health and safety committee at HSENI, Ladas Drive, Belfast, Chief Executive of HSENI Keith Morrison praised the level of commitment and professionalism shown by all of this year’s candidates. He said:
“HSENI is delighted to continue its involvement in this important award which celebrates best practice in health and safety at work.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their participation and offer my congratulations to Kevin on winning this year’s award. His commitment to health and safety helps to make sure everyone takes responsibility for making their workplace safer. This includes field engineers who must also consider the safety of the public when carrying out their work.
“Margaret also deserves praise for her work in initiating valuable measures to address stress-related illness among colleagues in the Southern Trust.
“Both Margaret and Kevin represent the very best qualities required to be an outstanding health and safety representative.
“I’d also like to commend all health and safety representatives for their ongoing efforts to make workplaces healthier and safer for all.”
Chairperson of the ICTU Health and Safety Committee Barbara Martin said
“This award recognises the vital work that trade union appointed health and safety reps perform in the workplace. Health and Safety Reps are often the unsung heroes of the workplace, going about their job quietly and with great determination and commitment.
‘This is why it is so important that we celebrate their contribution to keeping people safe at work. I would like to congratulate both Kevin and Margaret for their achievements.”
Notes to editors:
- The Health and Safety Representative’s Award was first introduced by HSENI in 2001 to recognise the contribution made by health and safety representatives.
- The award is open to both trade union appointed health and safety representatives and elected representatives of employee safety, under the Health and Safety (Consultation with Employees) Regulations (NI) 1996. The award is not open to health and safety professionals.
- In competing for the award, nominees have been judged through written application and interview in respect to four specific criteria which require them to demonstrate how they have:
identified health and safety problems and influenced senior management to implement new health and safety improvements
influenced and represented other members of the workforce
a sound working knowledge of health and safety theory and practice
participated in health and safety inspections/audits, both in terms of identification of risks and providing solutions
- The Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland (HSENI) is an Executive Non-Departmental Public Body, sponsored by the Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment.
- HSENI is the lead body responsible for the promotion and enforcement of health and safety at work standards in Northern Ireland.