The 12th Annual Virtual Health and Safety Conference took place on 19 October 2021. 

To help us deliver our conference programme we were joined by an esteem panel of speakers who brought with them a wealth of knowledge on issues relating to the health and safety challenges of vaccination of staff, long covid and new ways of working.

A full recording of the Conference is available above. To view a copy of individual presentations please click on the links below.

Our first keynote address was from Helen Smyth of the Labour Relations Agency who talked about their new guidance on vaccination of staff.

We were delighted to welcome to the Conference Professor Sir Michael McBride, Chief Medical Officer, who addressed conference and laid us into the minute silence at 11.00am to honour workers who had lost their lives from coronavirus or other work related illnesses or injuries.

This was followed by two Panel Sessions:

Panel One: Long Covid
Panellists

Fergal McCann, Member of NIPSA Health and Safety Committee, who gave a very powerful and personal account of his journey with long covid.

Diane Keys, Lead Occupational Therapy Clinical Specialist, Belfast Health and Social Care Trust.

Neill Wallace, Labour Relations Agency.

Janet Newsham, Manchester Hazards.

Panel Two:  New Ways of Working
Panellists

Carmel Gates, NIPSA General Secretary.

Robert Kidd, Chief Executive of HSENI.

Alex Bunting, Inspire.

Margaret Loughran, Chairperson of NIPSA Health and Safety Committee.

Attachments:
Download this file (HS-1.pdf)Helen Smyth375 kB
Download this file (FM2.pdf)Fergal McCann980 kB
Download this file (DK3.pdf)Diane Keys2460 kB
Download this file (NW4.pdf)Neill Wallace853 kB
Download this file (Hazards Campaign Long covid.pdf)Janet Newsham903 kB
Download this file (RK6.pdf)Robert Kidd963 kB
Download this file (AB7.pdf)Alex Bunting329 kB
Download this file (ML8.pdf)Margaret Loughran984 kB
Supporting employees still unwell months after contracting COVID.

The Workplace Health Leadership Group NI (WHLGNI) announce a webinar to take place at 10.30 a.m. on Thursday 27 May.

Long COVID (a condition that we did not even know about this time last year) is on the radar of many organisations as they work out how to support employees as they recover from the condition.

Diane Keys, Lead Occupational Therapy Clinical Specialist from the Occupational Health Department of Belfast Trust, and Neill Wallace, Employment Relations Manager at the Labour Relations Agency will give not only the clinical perspective in lay person’s terms of a diagnosis of Long COVID but also a view on supporting employees who unfortunately have the illness.

 

They will outline symptoms, treatment and how to help support recovery, as well as look at possible employment adjustments, phased return to work, and performance issues.

 

“It may be a newish condition but is still very real for employees and employers alike as we enter the final phases of this pandemic” said Wilson Lambe, Chair of WHLGNI. “We hope this webinar will give a framework to employers to assist with supporting employees on their road to recovery”.

 

Further details about the webinar (including booking) can be found here.

Geraldine Alexander
Assistant Secretary

The 11th Annual Virtual Health and Safety Conference took place on International Workers Memorial Day, 28 April 2021. A day when trade unionists and civil society all over the world remembered those who were killed, injured or made ill at work. It was not only a day to remember those who had tragically lost their lives at work but also to remember and pay tribute to those workers in many essential jobs who were on the front line in maintaining life as near normal as possible for all of us. They risk infection, their life to keep us all safe. It has been these workers we have depended on to get us through these unprecedented and challenging times.

The theme this year was ‘Fighting for the Fundamental Right for Safe and Healthy Work’ because that should be every worker’s human right – work that won’t hurt or kill us.

To help us deliver our conference programme we were joined by an esteem panel of speakers who brought with them a wealth of knowledge on the issues relating to the health and safety challenges of Covid, including mental health.

A full recording of the Conference is available above. To view a copy of individual presentations please click on the links below.

Our first keynote address was from Clare Moore, Irish Congress of Trade Unions. Clare presented the results from a Health and Safety Rep Survey. Click link to presentation and video.

We were delighted to welcome to the Conference Health Minister, Robin Swann, who addressed conference and laid us into the minute silence at 11.00am to honour workers who had lost their lives from coronavirus or other work related illnesses or injuries.

This was followed by two Panel Sessions:

Panel One: Mental Health and Wellbeing in a Changing World
Panellists

Professor Siobhan O’Neill, Mental Health Champion for NI. Presentation.

Rachael Power, Action Mental Health.

John McShane, MTB Solicitors. Presentation

Margaret Loughran, Chairperson NIPSA Health & Safety Committee

Panel Two: The Future of Work in a Post Covid World
Panellists

Mark McAllister, Labour Relations Agency. Presentation.

Priscilla Woods, NI Safety Group

Janet Newsham, Manchester Hazards. Presentation.

Brian McAnoy, ICTU Tutor

The HSENI have updated the example workplace risk assessment template which sets out the kind of approach to take in carrying out a risk assessment of for Coronavirus (Covid-19).

Please circulate as widely as possible.

Geraldine Alexandar
Assistant Secretary

HSENI have released a video on how work can have negative effects on mental health, particularly in the form of stress.

This video explains why employers should manage work-related stress and how HSENI’s Mental Wellbeing at Work Advisory Service can provide advice and guidance.

Click to view the video.

Geraldine Alexander
Assistant Secretary