A number of Mayo companies picked up awards at the All Ireland Occupational Safety Awards in Mullingar recently. Mairead McGuinness, Fine Gael MEP and vice president of the European Parliament, presented the awards. She said the awards mark the achievement of people who day-to-day carry out what are in many ways mundane tasks in detecting risks, training personnel, enforcing and monitoring good practices, and inculcating rather than dictating a safety ethos in the workplace.
The Mayo based companies who picked up awards were KD Group, Walsh Mechanical Engineering Mayo, P&D Lydon, Harrington Concrete and Quarries and Allergan Pharmaceutical.
McGuinness highlighted in particular the need for farm safety. “Our biggest asset is our family farming structure but we have to ask ourselves, is the family farm ethos part of the problem where we don’t treat it like we do other workplaces in terms of health and safety, with an inclination towards less rigidity in terms of procedures, processes, and training. This is something that needs to change if lives are to be saved. Safety is but one part of the story, health is equally important and here too we need to increase awareness about our health and how our working lives can impact our health. In some ways health and safety has earned a bad name, arising from excessive bureaucracy in some quarters. However we have to acknowledge that but not let it detract from the vital need for health and safety awareness and practice to be inculcated in every workplace.”