THE Mayo County Fire Service is among three local organisations celebrating after achieving certification to a key international Health and Safety business standard.
OHSAS 18001 for Occupational Health and Safety Management is an international standard which provides companies with a framework to identify control and decrease the risks associated with health and safety within the workplace.
Mayo County Fire Service employs 163 people across twelve operational fire stations and in other areas such as fire prevention, building control and administrative support.
Speaking at the certificate presentation event, which was held in the National Standards Authority of Ireland (NSAI) offices in Dublin, John Condon, Director of Services at Mayo County Council, said achieving certification to this standard was a team effort.
“This accreditation recognises the commitment of the council management and staff, working together, to develop a safety management system that promotes and creates a safe working environment within the Fire Service,” said Mr Condon
“Achieving OHSAS 18001 certification is a significant achievement for Mayo County Fire Service,” he added.
The Mayo County Fire Service was among three local organisations honoured at this week’s ceremony.
The other two were Michael O’Malley Tarmacadam Contractors, based in Castlebar, and P. O’Connor & Son Solicitors, which has offices in Swinford and Kiltimagh, but serves all of Connacht.
Hilda Dunne, director of Michael O’Malley Tarmacadam Contractors, which achieved certification in ISO 9001 for Quality Management Systems, ISO 140001 for Environmental Management Systems and OHSAS 18001, said standards will help the company to continue to expand and grow.
“Certification provides a differentiator against our competition and it gives our customers added confidence in the service we provide”, said Ms Dunne.
Patrick O’Connor, managing partner at P. O’Connor & Son Solicitors, agrees. He says certification to ISO 9001 for Quality Management Systems, means the firm is one of a handful in Ireland to boast the same accolade.
“Certification from NSAI is very important to us as it gives both National and European recognition of the quality standard we have set in the provision of legal services to our clients,” said Mr O’Connor.
All of the organisations who achieved certification were independently audited by NSAI inspectors in order to ensure they complied with the standards.
They join an elite group of over 3,000 organisations who are currently NSAI-certified in a variety of areas such as Quality Management Systems, Environmental Management Systems, Occupational Health and Safety Management Systems and Energy Management.
The 27 organisations honoured at the ceremony have offices or facilities in 16 different counties and were presented with their certificates by the Minister for Trade, Employment, Business, EU Digital Single Market and Data Protection, Pat Breen TD.
“Progressive Irish organisations have always embraced the applications of standards and recognise their relevance to long term economic success of their businesses. In an international trading environment, this helps to build Ireland’s global reputation and strength,” said Minister Breen.
“I commend each and every one of these organisations for achieving certification, which can only occur when a team of smart, competent, dedicated people work together,” he added.
Speaking at the presentation ceremony, NSAI Chief Executive Geraldine Larkin highlighted the importance of businesses using standards in uncertain times.
“The question for Irish industry is not what you gain from standards and certification; it's the business opportunities lost without them. Globally recognised standards such as ISO 9001, ISO 14001 & OHSAS 18001 provide you with instant credibility: they differentiate your products, services and business,” said Ms Larkin.
“Standards improve efficiency, helping you to conserve money, manpower, time, facilities, and natural resources, they improve your Health & Safety, and they help in breaking down trade barriers and open doors to new markets,” she added.
NSAI invites members of the business community and the general public to get involved in the development of standards by visiting the Your Standards, Your Say web portal on www.nsainep.ie . All standards are also available from www.standards.ie
For further information, visit NSAI.ie, like us on Facebook at NSAI or follow us on Twitter @NSAI_Standards