OFTEC and METAC spread the CO safety message with successful CPD event

Speakers on the day included Eamonn Smyth, Advisor in the Building Standards Section at the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government; Sean McGinley, Safety Manager at RGII; George Tracey, Fire Officer and MD at The Soot Doctor Ltd; Tom Meehan, Technical Sales Manager Ireland at Ei Electronics; Liam Doyle, Chairman, RGII; and Charlie O’Neill, Heating Engineer Supplies.

OFTEC Ireland’s representative, Sean McBride, was on hand during the day to explain the purpose of the event.

“We want to ensure that our technicians are equipped with the appropriate training to deal with a CO incident in the correct and safest way. We all know that it only takes two or three minutes for CO to kill us. Our technicians need to be aware of the signs to watch out for and they also need to ensure they’re wearing their own personal CO alarms. Too many technicians are neglecting to wear them; so we really need to underline their importance.”

As an industry, we are far too complacent when it comes to CO awareness, says Sean.

“As an organisation, what we don’t want is for a family member to call us after a fatality and ask us why the technician wasn’t wearing a CO alarm or why he wasn’t trained in CO safety.”

Local authorities are already seeing the benefit of using registered technicians and understand the benefits, and protection, that control documents offer. Several local authorities now specify OFTEC registered technicians for oil and stove installation and service work.

OFTEC has also been working to gain Government recognition for oil and now solid fuel technicians for several years, and it looks like there may be light at the end of the tunnel. Eamonn Smyth from the Department of the Environment, Community & Local Government, who attended and spoke at the CPD event has, Sean says, been receptive to the idea of pushing forward and recommending competent persons through local councils.

Sean explained, “The problem we face at the moment is getting the numbers up. It’s a chicken and egg scenario. I believe that the Department of the Environment is trying to assist us but without significant numbers on our registration scheme they have a problem recommending OFTEC technicians in case there is not the countrywide coverage.

“We know there are sufficient technicians available who have completed the training and we need them to register.

“If you have a valid solid fuel qualification contact us now for free registration and Sean and the team at OFTEC will continue to push hard to make sure OFTEC registered technicians are recognised as competent persons to install and service oil and solid fuelled appliances across Ireland.”

OFTEC – Telephone (RoI) 01 864 5771 or (NI) 048 91 862 916, e-mail enquiries@oftec.org or visit www.oftec.org
METAC – Telephone (NI/RoI) 00353 (0) 57 875 6540, e-mail info@metac.ie or visit www.metac.ie