Across the world in the month of April, trade unions will mark Workers' Memorial Day by commemorating those who have been killed or injured at or because of work and will honour the work of health and safety reps.
On 27 April, The Irish Congress of Trade Unions and the Health and Safety Executive for Northern Ireland will mark WMD both by remembering those who have lost their lives in workplace accidents and by announcing the winners of the Safety Representative of the Year 2017 in a ceremony in the Stormont Hotel, Belfast at 11.15 am.
Workers' Memorial Day takes place around the world at the end of April when people come together to remember those who have been killed, injured or made sick at or because of work. Workers' Memorial Day also offers an opportunity to strengthen resolve to reduce risks and protect people from injury in the workplace and highlight the vital role that health and safety representatives play in the workplace.
The annual Health and Safety 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.
Speaking in advance of the ceremony, ICTU Equality Officer Clare Moore said, "Workers' Memorial Day provides a time of reflection for us all to think about the people who have lost their lives or who have become seriously ill through work.
"It also offers the opportunity to resolve to work together to strengthen workplace health and safety. Health and Safety Representatives are a vital part of this work".
Chief Executive of the HSENI, Keith Morrison said "the Health and Safety Rep of the Year 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.
"HSENI and ICTU are pleased to work together to celebrate and acknowledge best practice in health and safety at work.
“I’d like to thank everyone for their participation and offer my congratulations to the winners. Their commitment to health and safety helps to make sure everyone takes responsibility for making their workplace safer."
The winners of the 2017 Safety Rep of the Year awards are:
Stan Lowe, A UNITE Health and Safety Representative working in Hyster-Yale and Raymond Nelson, a NIPSA Health and Safety Representative working in the Belfast Trust.
A Highly Commended Certificate was awarded to Pat Neeson, a UNISON Health and Safety Representative working in Belfast Trust.
Notes to editors:
- The Health and Safety Representative’s Award was first introduced by HSENI and ICTU 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; and participated in health and safety inspections/audits, both in terms of identification of risks and providing solutions