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Chairman's Column download the speaker’s presentation, is available later in the magazine. Our Autumn schedule began with Caitriona O’Donovan, Dr. John Fallon and Noelle Dromgoole, Health Friendly Air, addressing the issue of Indoor Air Exposure in Irish Buildings and the Law.The seminar focused on the health effects of indoor air quality in office environments, outlining the various risk exposures; prevalence of workers suffering ill-health, clarifying the concept of “Sick Building Syndrome” and “Building related illness”, outlining the regulatory framework and standards of care.


Ian D

Welcome to the Autumn edition of Risk Manager Magazine. As this is my first column as the newly elected Chairman it is only right that I thank my immediate predecessor Chairperson Geraldine Dempsey for her stewardship for the past two years. This appointment is a great honour for me. Working closely with the committee I intend to ensure that the association remains as vibrant, active and relevant as it was since its foundation in serving the interests of its members.

AIRM website

With that in mind, I’m delighted to announce the launch of our new website As well as modernising the visual aesthetic, streamlining and simplifying the layout for the end user, the website contains some important new functionality. Relaunching the website was a timeconsuming affair so I’d like to specially thank Geraldine Dempsey for her involvement in bringing the website from its initial specification through to its final delivery. I would also like to thank Hugh Sexton and Stephen Heffernan for the role they played in selecting the web designer.

Past Seminars

Since the last publication, in our April seminar, Paul Foran, former Health and Safety Authority Inspector and Managing Director of OHSS, dealt with the specialist role that Occupational Hygienist’s play in assisting the risk manager in determining a worker’s exposure to hazardous chemicals and the efficacy of existing risk control measures. More information regarding the seminar, including where to


A compelling argument was made for the need for preventative maintenance programmes, overseen by HVAC engineers, to be supplemented by accredited competent air quality specialists to ensure the invisible bacterial microbes that can cause ill-health problems for exposed workers are addressed. Delegates were also informed how noise and light equally impaired a worker’s wellbeing and the standards of care employers’ are legally required to meet. Members can download the speakers’ presentations from the website from this link

Annual Site Visit

Our annual site visit in May involved a trip to Wheatfield Prison, Clondalkin, which represented a rare insight to the inner workings of a “live” prison for youth offenders. What I found most stiking was how the Governors and their staff achieved a balance between providing a secure facility that didn’t compromise the integrity of emergency evacuation procedures or endangered the lives of their prison officers. The Governors sought to limit the scale of any outbreak of violence by segregating cell blocks, alternating prisoners access to the exercise yards and administering prison privilege system. Attitudes to managing prisoners has clearly progressed; unruly prisoners weren’t confined to “isolation” rooms devoid of any stimuli but were instead placed in “segregation” units designed in an inherently safe manner to meet the prisoner’s basic needs plus some the luxury access to a TV. It was interesting to note that despite the advancement in technology the Governors have found that less sophisticated but more robust security systems provided a more cost effective solution. Moreover prison designs dating back to the Victorian era were

able to provide sufficient levels of inmate supervision at a fraction of the staffing levels required in more modern prison designs.

Annual Golf Outing

Our annual golf outing took place in May at Killeen Golf Club, Naas. Turnout was higher than expected and I understand everyone enjoyed this social event. I’d like to make a special thank you to Peter O’Toole, Nigel Tonge and Nigel Dawkins for running the event so seamlessly.

Upcoming Seminars

In our October seminar Paul Dwyer, Paul C Dwyer & Associates, will address the risks of cyber crime, the cyber crime economy, and the importance of risk management. The seminar will deal with how cyber crime applies to/affects a company’s Business Continuity Plan, Data Protection protocols; security protocols for employees who work off-site, and identity theft.

2011 Committee Members

Finally, I would like to announce the officers and members of the Committee for 2011 as elected at our AGM in April. Stephen Heffernan takes up the post as Secretary, while John Dunny retains his role as Treasurer. The remaining committee members include Michael Brennan, Hugh Sexton, Tom English, Peter O’Toole, John Hamilton, Jason Kelly, Geraldine Dempsey, Ray Green, Nigel Tonge, John O’Reilly, and Lesley Doyle. Brendan Kavanagh stepped down from the committee and was appointed an Honourary member given his role in founding the association and active participation in advocating the role of risk management over the years. Sadly our colleague Phil Lewis Farrell stepped down from the Committee as she is emigrating to New Zealand. We are reliably informed the Rugby World Cup had nothing to do with her decision. We wish Phil and her family a happy future. I intend t the ass o ensure that ociatio nr as vibra nt, acti emains v relevan t as it w e and as s its foun dation ince in serving the inte rests of its m embers .

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