11 June 2014
The Ireland Branch of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) held its annual conference today (June 11) in the Killashee House Hotel, Naas, Co. Kildare.
The theme of this year’s symposium, ‘Working Together for Risk Prevention – Bring Your Boss’, highlighted why employers should view health and safety as a business benefit rather than a drag on profits.
Around 100 delegates heard about the Institution’s Life Savings campaign – an initiative which is encouraging Irish businesses to save money, boost productivity and increase efficiencies by intelligent investment in health and safety.
According to IOSH, the Irish economy is losing €3.2 billion per year and the cost of health and safety failures per worker in Ireland is €1711 because of workplace injury and ill health. This equates to a staggering one million lost working days each year.
IOSH Ireland Branch chair Michelle Peate-Morgan said: “As well as the primary aim of saving people’s lives and livelihoods, good occupational health and safety can also deliver vital cost savings and help a business to grow.
“The smartest companies get professional advice on health and safety. Prevention is better than cure. IOSH membership is the hallmark of professionals with the right qualifications, experience and know-how,” she added.
IOSH has unearthed examples of employers saving millions of Euros and is encouraging businesses to follow in the footsteps of companies like Janssen, Alkermes, and Integrated Communications.
One of the most impressive examples is Cork-based Janssen Pharmaceutical, part of Johnson & Johnson. It saved €2 million during the upgrade of its powder handling facility.
Design improvements resulted in a reduced risk of ergonomic issues, the elimination of cleaning at heights and changes in the assembly and disassembly of heavy equipment.
Operator and Safety Representative Michael Daly said: “The initiative was successful because everyone’s voice was heard – regardless of which part of the business they worked in.
“One of Johnson and Johnson’s credo values is to look after the welfare of workers and this project has delivered on this from a health and safety perspective. We were also able to demonstrate that health and safety is a key element of all of our business activities.”
Image: CEO Supply workflow, Sean Beirne speaking at the conference.