International Workers Memorial Day and the Health and Safety Representative of the Year 2017
2 May 2017
International Workers Memorial Day 2017
And the presentation of the
ICTUNI & HSENI Health and Safety Representative of the Year 2017
On Thursday 27th April 2017 the ICTUNI Health & Safety Committee, joined by colleagues from the ICTU Health & Safety Committee in the Republic of Ireland, union colleagues, employer representatives (including from the Belfast Trust and Hyster-Yale), and the Health and Safety Executive N Ireland (HSENI), gathered at the WMD tree in Stormont Estate to mark Workers Memorial Day 2017.
In 2012 the GMB trade union sponsored the planting of a native cherry tree in the grounds of Stormont Estate in in memory of David Layland, a GMB member who tragically lost his life at his place of work in 2008.
Barbara Martin, Chair of the ICTUNI Health & Safety Committee, placed a wreath at the tree and led those gathered in a minutes silence to remember David and all those who have been killed, injured or made sick at or because of work.
The Health & Safety Representative of the Year Awards 2017 were held in the Stormont Hotel Thursday 27th April.
The Awards were chaired by Barbara Martin, Chair of the ICTUNI Health & Safety Committee and by Keith Morrison, CEO of the (HSENI).
This year’s Health & Safety Rep of the Year award went jointly to two Health and Safety Reps,
Stan Lowe, UNITE rep from Hyster-Yale
Raymond Nelson, NIPSA rep from Belfast Trust.
Also recognised was;
Pat Neeson, UNISON as highly commended for his work this year as a Health and Safety Rep.
Each of the award winners spoke about why they are safety reps and what it means to them to work to protect workplace safety.
We were also delighted to be joined by representatives of their respective employers who congratulated the winners and reflected on the importance of partnership working between unions and employers. They also emphasised the essential role a Health & Safety Representative plays in every workplace.
Representatives from the employers were:
Ian McIlveen, Hyster Yale Training and Development Superintendent
Gerard McCallan, Belfast Trust
Brenda Creaney, Director of Nursing at Belfast Trust
Geraldine Alexander, Vice Chair of the ICTU Health and Safety Committee concluded the proceedings thanking all those present and involved in the day and the process.
Although a sombre occasion, Workers Memorial Day also offers the opportunity to reflect on and celebrate the hard work and commitment of trade union Health & Safety Representatives.
‘The most powerful voice is a collective one. And we know that a union workplace is a far safer workplace! Fewer injuries and occupational illnesses. Less sickness absence. And better reporting of health and safety problems, so they can be fixed before a worker suffers life-changing, life-limiting or life-ending consequences.’
Stan Lowe has been a health and safety representative for UNITE for twelve years. He is a training instructor with Hyster Yale Group and has worked closely with the union and management to ensure the highest standards of workplace health and safety are being reached.
Raymond Nelson has been a health and safety rep for NIPSA for eighteen years. He works for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust where he has demonstrated his commitment to health and safety procedures and to working with members and colleagues to raise health and safety concerns with management.
Pat Neeson has been a health and safety rep for eight years for UNISON. He works as a Porter for the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust at the Royal Hospital. Pat has made many positive changes to health and safety procedures within the Royal, not least in relation to the area of personal protective equipment.