Irish Government launches Energy Policy Green Paper

The Energy Policy Green Paper for Ireland that marks the beginning of a 10-week public consultation on the future shape of Ireland’s energy policy has been launched today by the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources Pat Rabbitte, TD.

The Irish Government is aware of the challenges facing the world’s energy supplies, spiraling fossil fuel prices, and the effects of climate change on the environment.

As part of its Green Paper, the Government has detailed six priorities if consumers are to gain greater control of their energy usage, costs and generation.

The obvious move now is for an increase in the production of indigenous renewable energies that, in many cases, exist in abundance.

Over the next decades, Ireland’s economy will need to shift from one predominantly dependent on imported fossil fuels to a more indigenous, low-carbon economy based on renewable energy, energy efficiency and smart networks,” said the report. “It will also need to fully exploit the major opportunity this presents for job creation and economic growth.

One aspect the paper suggests is empowering Irish citizens to be more energy aware and encouraging them to consider ideas, such as retro-fitting homes for more energy-efficient solutions or renewable energy technologies.

The Government paper also asks whether more work can be done with the authorities in Northern Ireland and other EU states to collaborate on a shared approach to supporting potential investment in building and accessing energy storage capacity in order to better use oil and gas and further exploit available renewable energies.


New £27m fund to finance on-farm renewable energy projects in Northern Ireland

A new £27m fund has been launched today by Assured Asset Energy Ltd (AAE) to finance up to 30 on-farm renewable energy projects and create 180 construction jobs in Northern Ireland.

According to AAE, the new anaerobic digestion plants will process up to 450,000 tonnes of farm waste annually to produce biogas and generate up to 8.5MW electricity for connection and sale onto the Northern Ireland.

We’re very excited to be launching this fund that will be of great benefit to local farmers and will help Northern Ireland reduce its carbon footprint,” said Alex Colombini, director of AAE. “We encourage farmers who have the capacity to take advantage of the opportunity.

“Renewable energy really is a win-win – a win for the environment and the economy,” said Environment Minister Mark H Durkan, who officially launched the fund. “This fund will help more farmers to seize the benefits of this renewable technology which can help them make savings and reduce running costs in the longer term.  Anaerobic digesters can also assist in reducing carbon emissions and help meet executive renewable energy targets.


Author: Jürgen from Sandesneben, Germany


€70m Irish Energy Efficiency Fund could be leveraged up to €300m

A new €70m Energy Efficiency Fund led by Sustainable Development Capital and supported by the Irish Government aimed at reducing energy demand from commercial buildings could be leveraged up to €300m in the coming years.

The purpose of the fund is to act as a catalyst for the development of energy-efficiency projects in the Irish market. The fund has secured first close of €35m with a capital commitment of €17.2m from the Irish Government, together with a combination of private-sector capital from London & Regional Properties (€12.8m) and Glen Dimplex Group (€5m).

Energy efficiency represents a huge opportunity to stimulate economic activity, employment and improve national competitiveness. Today’s announcement marks an important first step for the fund, but more importantly says to businesses and public-sector bodies – the fund is open and ready to do business.”

Open for business
In a deal worth €2m, Tesco Ireland will become the first company to avail of the fund as part of a retrofit programme and the first Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) Exemplar project to reach financial close. Irish energy services company DCS Electrical (DCS), will retrofit an initial seven Tesco stores, with a follow-on funding commitment for up to 40 stores nationwide.

The project to replace existing lighting across seven Tesco stores with high-efficiency LEDs is expected to result in the creation of 16 new jobs at DCS and deliver estimated average annual energy savings of more than €540,000.

SDCL is a specialist financial and investment advisory firm headquartered in London and with offices in Dublin, New York and Hong Kong. SDCL also manages a similar energy-efficiency fund in the UK, which was launched with a cornerstone commitment from the UK Green Investment Bank, along with energy-efficiency funds in Singapore, China and Hong Kong. In Ireland, SDCL will work closely with the department, the SEAI, the Green IFSC and other government-backed institutions and initiatives.

Demand versus supply
Speaking with, the chief executive of SDCL Jonathan Maxwell explained that the difference between the Irish Energy Efficiency Fund and other green-oriented funds is that this fund is focused on the demand for energy, rather than the supply.

We focus on reducing the demand for energy, while most renewable energy funds are oriented towards new power-generation technologies. There’s an enormous opportunity to cut energy wastage and that opportunity is the largest and cheapest source for greenhouse gas reduction.

By applying a commercially proven technology, such as lighting or building management systems, controls and other measures, all of those can work in a commercial environment without subsidy. The fund provides solutions and takes away the need to invest in capital expenditure and instead allow the fund to deliver as a service and it is paid for by the savings generated.

The result for buildings is better lights, the buildings are more resilient, they have a better power supply and ultimately we’ve found a wave of making commercial buildings a better place to live and work,” Maxwell said.


Source: by John Kennedy

Comparing OSHA’s Top 10 Most Frequently Cited Standards for FY 2013, FY 2012 and FY 2011


There has been a significant (45%) increase in safety violations cited by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) from 2012 to 2013. In addition to the increased number of violations, OSHA has also increased the number of press releases publicizing hefty fines.

While there has been great progress in workplace safety over the past 100 years, the numbers presented below should serve as a reminder there is more to be done to make workplaces safer.

The top 10 list of most frequently cited workplace-safety violations for FY 2013 are as follows:


The top 10 list of most frequently cited workplace-safety violations for FY 2012 are as follows:


The top 10 list of most frequently cited workplace-safety violations for FY 2011 are as follows:


The top 10 list of most frequently cited workplace-safety violations 3 year comparison:


The trend in the 3 year comparison shows a drop in cited violations in 2012 as compared to 2013 and 2011. The difference between 2013 and 2011 is for the most part negligible. 


Food Safety Authority of Ireland activity in April

A Dublin City centre eatery is among five food businesses where closure orders were issued by the Food Safety Authority of Ireland (FSAI) last month.

Environmental health officers issued the order to close for some days, three eateries under the Food Safety Authority Act 1998.

Two closure orders were also issued under European legislation, EC (Official Control of Foodstuffs) Regulations, 2010, but also for a few days.

A successful prosecution was also carried out last month by the HSE (Health Service Executive) against one Chinese restaurant.

The number of ongoing cases involving “improper storage of foodstuffs and poor cleaning and sanitising” was particularly disappointing, Food Safety Authority chief executive Professor Alan Reilly said. Greater vigilance was needed to ensure standards were not allowed to slip and pit consumers at risk, he said.

The FSAI has issued 28 closure orders so far this year. Last year the number of enforcement orders taken against businesses for breaching food safety laws was up by 31 per cent , hitting a record of 143.


Source: Iris Times 


Hazards Associated with Storm Damage Cleanup

Storm and tornado cleanup work can involve hazards related to restoring electricity, communications, and water and sewer services. Other hazards relate to demolition activities, cleaning up debris, tree trimming, structural, roadway and bridge repair, hazardous waste operations and emergency response activities.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) maintains a comprehensive website on keeping disaster site workers safe during tornado and storm cleanup and recovery operations.

This is because in the last 1/2 weeks a series of severe storms has been raging through parts of the Midwest, South and Eastern United States. As residents recover from these events, OSHA urges recovery workers, employers and the public to be aware of the hazards they can encounter and take necessary steps to stay safe.

Recovery and cleanup work should not put you in the hospital emergency room. OSHA is on the ground in affected areas providing compliance assistance,” said Dr. David Michaels, assistant secretary of labor for occupational safety and health. “Storm recovery efforts expose workers to a wide range of hazards, which can be mitigated by Safe Work Practices and Personal Protective equipment (PPE)

In addition, areas affected by flooding have unique cleanup challenges, including: dam and levee repair, removal of floodwater from structures and repairing downed electrical wires in standing water. Workers and residents taking defensive action to protect structures or evacuate severely impacted areas may encounter numerous hazards, such as rapidly rising streams and moving water. OSHA has a variety of resources on flood preparedness and response detailing how to stay safe during floods and subsequent cleanup.

Only workers provided with the proper training, equipment and experience should conduct cleanup activities. Protective measures should involve: evaluating the work area for all hazards, employing engineering or work practice controls to mitigate hazards, using personal protective equipment, assuming that all power lines are live, properly using portable generators, saws, ladders, vehicles and other equipment and paying attention to safety precautions for traffic work zones.

Under the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, employers are responsible for providing safe and healthful workplaces for their employees. OSHA’s role is to ensure these conditions for America’s working men and women by setting and enforcing standards, and providing training, education and assistance.


Source: United States Department of Labor

Cuts to health and safety checks make the role of CSP safety reps ‘more important than ever’

workers-memorial-day-2014The document “Toxic, Corrosive and Hazardous: The government’s record on health and safety”, says that in the last four years the government has cut Health and Safety Executive (HSE) inspections and reduced its funding by about 40%.

The government has blocked new regulations and removed existing protections and prevented improved European regulation on health and safety. Support for employers and health and safety representatives has been cut.

Donna Steele, CSP Health and Safety officer, said: ‘Having CSP safety reps elected in our members’ workplaces is more important than ever, as they become effectively the only protection against employers who undermine or fail to value staff’s health and wellbeing.

The report says that far more people die as a result of a disease that they get from work than are killed in an ‘accident’. They are also far more likely to be made ill than injured. More than 70% of sickness absence caused by work is due to either stress or musculoskeletal disorders, such as back pain or RSI.

This report comprehensively shows the actions of a callous government that is vastly reducing the HSE’s abilities to bring rogue employers to account’, said Ms Steele.

Frances O’Grady, the TUC general secretary, said: ‘The government says that the UK is a safe place to work and that we don’t need any more regulation. If only this were the case. With the UK ranked just 20th in the health and safety risk index of 34 developed nations, we’ve hardly got a record to be proud of’.

The report was published to coincide with Workers’ Memorial Day, held on 28 April every year. A CSP advice sheet for members on safety at work is available on the society’s website. It outlines the role of health and safety reps and encourages members to speak with their reps about their concerns.


Welcome to SHEQ Centre of Excellence Blog


Dear Friends,

Welcome to SHEQ Centre of Excellence blog,

It is with pleasure we are starting to post in our new blog. We want you to stay with us!!! We hope you like and you are invited to participate at all time.

SHEQ Centre of Excellence is a management consulting firm focussed on helping businesses solve the complex challenges and decisions facing their company today.

SHEQ Centre of Excellence consultants have helped many clients to achieve and maintain compliance in the areas of Occupational Heath & Safety, Quality, Food Safety, Environmental, Energy, Business Continuity and Information Security by delivering specialised products and services to meet their specific requirements.

We treat our clients like partners and over the years, the SHEQ Centre of Excellence has earned a reputation for quality through their consulting and training services.  We would like to work with you to offer advice and support so that you can achieve what you require from short-term solutions to long-term goals.

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