Top workplace safety accolade for Crossmaglen man

February 8, 2016

A Crossmaglen man has been named as the winner of the 2015 Health and Safety Representative Award in recognition of his contribution to the safety of employees in the workplace.

Kevin Sweeney, a BT Ireland engineer and trade union health and safety coordinator for the Communication Workers Union (UK), was crowned the overall winner after beating off stiff competition from fellow nominees in the rigorous assessment.

The annual award is presented jointly 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.

Presenting the award at a meeting of the health and safety committee in Belfast recently, the Chief Executive of HSENI Keith Morrison praised the level of commitment and professionalism shown by all of this year’s candidates.

“HSENI is delighted to continue its involvement in this important award which celebrates best practice in health and safety at work,” he said.

“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.”

Offering her congratulations, 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.”

A highly commended certificate was also presented to Margaret Dooley, a NIPSA health and safety representative with the Southern Health and Social Care Trust in recognition of her work in initiating valuable measures to address stress-related illness among colleagues in the Southern Trust.