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

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

Mark McAllister, Labour Relations Agency. Presentation.

Priscilla Woods, NI Safety Group

Janet Newsham, Manchester Hazards. Presentation.

Brian McAnoy, ICTU Tutor