Gas Networks Ireland has achieved the major health and safety milestone of one million hours worked – the equivalent of 14 months – without a lost-time staff incident for the second time in the last two years.
The announcement comes as the safety conscious national utility celebrates both World Day for Safety and Health at Work and International Workers’ Memorial Day, which promotes the importance of creating a health and safety culture to reduce workplace injuries and remember those who lost their lives in workplace accidents.
Gas Networks Ireland’s impressive safety milestone was achieved during the challenging period of COVID-19 restrictions. With essential site work continuing, much of it throughout the toughest public health restrictions, stringent COVID-19 protocols, training and PPE were quickly introduced and reviewed regularly in line with ever-evolving health advice from the government and HSE.
Staff who were working from home were supported with training and workplace evaluations to ensure the company’s strong safety culture was maintained remotely.
Gas Networks Ireland’s Networks Safety Manager, Owen Wilson, said: “We’re proud to announce this million-hour milestone on such an important day on the workplace health and safety calendar. Safety is at the heart of what we do at Gas Networks Ireland and we’re proud to operate one of the safest and most modern networks in the world. The safety and wellbeing of all staff and the communities in which we operate is always our foremost priority.
“This significant accomplishment is a testament to the hard work of our employees throughout the organisation who put safety at the heart of everything we do. I’m extremely proud of everyone’s efforts in living and embracing our safety culture, as even one incident, is one too many.
“While many are working from home as a result of the pandemic, as an essential service, our field staff have been on site throughout, ensuring the safe and reliable supply of gas to consumers, businesses and other essential services.
“Participation, collaboration and contributions from all staff helps ensure safety is a core value for Gas Networks Ireland. Implementing and following policies, undertaking continuous safety training and practicing high safety standards are key to the company’s exceptional safety culture. Employee buy-in to working responsibly for their own safety, as well as the safety of others around them, allows Gas Networks Ireland to continually complete projects while remaining injury free.”
As well as a strong internal safety culture, Gas Networks Ireland also promotes public safety through its gas escapes emergency service, carbon monoxide awareness, dial before your dig service, anti-meter tampering advertising, and registered gas installers campaigns.
Last month, Gas Networks Ireland’s Design Safety Management System was shortlisted for the international Institution of Gas Engineers and Managers (IGEM) and the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) Gas Industry “Safety Award”.
Last year, the safety conscious utility was also recognized with the “Health and Safety Initiative of the Year” award for its safety hazard reporting app at the Networks Awards 2020, while its innovative Dial Before You Dig (DBYD) service was a finalist in the “Gamechanger” category. The DBYD service, which provides information and maps on underground gas pipes enabling safe excavation works, also won the 2020 Esri Ireland Sharing and Collaboration Customer Success Award.