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Clare Fire Service Achieves International Health and Safety Accreditation

Clare County Fire and Rescue Service has been awarded the ‘ISO 45001 Occupational Health and Safety (OH&S) Management System’ accreditation, which is the world’s first international standard for OH&S.

ISO 45001 provides a framework to increase safety, reduce workplace risks and enhance health and wellbeing at work, enabling an organisation to continually improve its OH&S performance. It is applicable to all organisations, regardless of size, industry or nature of business. It was introduced in 2018 and replaces the previous standard of OHSAS 18001 that the Fire Service had been accredited to since 2014.

The benefits of being accredited to ISO 45001 include increased confidence in all aspects of OH&S, with a specialist auditor validating policies, procedures, processes and continual improvements on an annual basis.

The Mayor of Clare, Cllr Mary Howard, congratulated the Fire Service on attaining the accreditation, stating that maintaining health and safety standards to the highest level is “of the utmost importance for Fire Service personnel and the general public whom they serve.”

“The fire-fighters and support staff of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service are to be commended for their planning and hard work in providing an efficient, reliable, year-round service to those who live in, work in and visit Clare,” Cllr Howard said.

Adrian Kelly, Chief Fire Officer, Clare County Fire and Rescue Service, said: “Clare County Fire and Rescue Service works closely with staff and contractors to ensure health and safety management systems are in place to aid employee wellbeing in the organisation. The transformation to ISO 45001 means that the organisation is internationally recognised in an elite category of businesses, one of a small number of fire services that have attained this standard in Ireland.”

To change to ISO 45001, the service has continued to provide a structured and organised framework for OH&S that relies on evidence-based data to ensure that there is reinforced leadership to proactively improve OH&S performance, and that legal and regulatory requirements are met. Delivering high OH&S standards has enhanced the reputation of the service among businesses and organisations by meeting the needs and expectations of Clare County Fire and Rescue Service’s workforce, local communities and other agencies.

Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council, said: “Achieving the ISO 45001 standard at Clare County Fire and Rescue Service is something we should all be proud of. Migrating to this new international standard shows our commitment to our employees, other emergency response agencies, and assures the public that we take OH&S seriously. We aim to prevent hazards and promote a positive working culture in the service.

“The ISO 45001 standard could not be implemented in depth without the support of staff across Clare County Council and Clare County Fire and Rescue Service. Without their collaboration, OH&S would not have been embedded in the organisation to the degree it has been to make accreditation successful.”

The health and safety team have ensured that proactive measures are implemented so that consistency of OH&S standards are met across the organisation. The fire service has transitioned to a new standard that continues to provide a framework to manage risks and opportunities to help prevent work-related injury and ill health to workers.

Ger Hartnett, Senior Executive Health and Safety Officer, Clare County Council, said: “In achieving ISO 45001 certification, Clare County Fire and Rescue Service is being officially recognised for demonstrating a high-quality OH&S management system. Staff from across the service can feel their needs and safety are being taken into account and that a positive corporate culture is in place.”

Pictured (Left to Right): Adrian Kelly, Clare Chief Fire Officer; Mayor of Clare, Cllr Mary Howard; JP McGrath, Wholetime Station Officer, Ennis Fire Station; Pat Dowling, Chief Executive, Clare County Council; and Carmel Kirby, Director of Services, Physical Development Directorate, Clare County Council. Photo: Eamon Ward.

More information regarding this topic can be found on https://www.clarecoco.ie/news/news-stories/default.html

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