Electricity Industry Conference Promotes Importance of Employee Health and Well-Being

For immediate release – Thursday 12 May 2016

The 27th annual Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) Management Conference has gathered in Belfast this week, to address key health and safety issues in the UK electricity industry and promote employee health and well-being as an important priority.

The conference, organised by Energy Networks Association (ENA), seeks to foster co-operation between industry stakeholders and promote best practice in managing safety, health and environment challenges. This year senior speakers from across the sector will focus attention on the health and well-being of employees in the industry with discussions on occupational stress, nutrition, shift working and approaches to mental health. There will also be dedicated sessions on environment, road safety and fatigue and core safety issues.

ENA Chief Executive David Smith said:

“The well-established history of the SHE Conference demonstrates the collaboration between companies, employees and the Health and Safety Executive which has delivered a significant improvement in the electricity industry’s health and safety performance since privatisation.  

In our sector, where physical risks tend to be apparent to employers and employees, I am pleased that this year’s conference will address a number of health risks, such as workplace stress and mental health. Whilst they may be less visible they are no less important.”

Nicholas Tarrant, Managing Director at NIE Networks said:

“We’re delighted to be hosting the Safety, Health & Environment conference in Belfast for the first time in almost 20 years and welcoming utility colleagues from the UK and Ireland. At NIE Networks safety is one of our values. We have business priorities which need to change and be dynamic but safety must always remain constant. These forums are important ways to share knowledge so that we can constantly improve our safety performance for the benefit of our customers, employees and contractors.”

Kevin Coyne, National Coordinating Officer for the union Unite said:

“The greatest health challenge to the industry at present is workplace stress. It is a major problem for our members and we are delighted to see that ENA is committed to taking on that challenge. We now need to see the clear evidence that action on workplace stress is at the top of the industry’s, and every energy company’s, health agenda.”

Keith Morrison from the Health and Safety Executive Northern Ireland said:

“Electricity compares favourably to other sectors in health and safety performance, and works hard to save lives and prevent injury of employees, contractors and the public.

Occupational health is often overlooked, and I am delighted to see the focus that this conference has placed on issues like mental health and work related stress.”

ENDS

ENA is the voice of the networks representing the ‘wires and pipes’ transmission and distribution network operators for gas and electricity in the UK and Ireland.

For further information please contact:

Matthew Pringle
Press and Public Affairs Officer
Energy Networks Association

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