Big thank you from

Jenny Munro talks to Owen Edwards

Owen EdwardsOwen Edwards, 53, is the proprietor of Slips Trips and Falls, which is an authorised distributor of Ladderfix ladder accessories in Northern Ireland, along with a selection of entrance and commercial mats such as anti - fatigue mats and other health and safety equipment. Slips Trips and Falls have a virtual office at the Lisburn Enterprise Organisation which is situated on the Ballinderry Road.

Owen lives locally with his wife Heather and they have two children Ashleigh and Rhys. He previously worked as a civil servant and was a tradesman before starting up his own business last year.

I would normally start a working day at around six or half six in the morning depending where I am going. If I am going to Southern Ireland I would try and be there before the rush hour begins and have breakfast locally If not, I check my e-mails for orders and routine correspondence and deal with them, and then have breakfast. The day's itinerary will have been planned over the previous weekend. I call with customers and potential clients introducing myself and the products which I carry. I normally make another appointment with potential customers after the initial contact has been made as I have already had a full day planned. I have found that this works quite well. I provide Health and Safety to the smaller businesses where it is not possible to devote the required time to this important requirement due to the pressure of the business. Items include: Ladderfix Products, cigarette bins, Industrial/Commercial matting and First Aid Packs. Health and Safety is all about the prevention of harm befalling an employee or anyone who is on your premises. It is so important that there are a number of laws and regulations which apply to every work area. It applies to all firms no matter how small and also covers the self employed. I can advise and provide a full range of health and safety solutions. From carrying out risk assessments, through to planning safe systems of work, health and safety policies to training needs analysis and discussing and advising what training is the correct one for a particular business. I can also empower or mentor staff to develop health and safety in house.

I break for lunch somewhere between 12noon and 2pm and I make no appointments during this slot. This time also acts as a buffer if I am running late from the morning activities and it allows for time being taken up sitting in queues of traffic at road works - there seems to be a great number of these as you travel about the country The afternoon is much of the same but the appointments are closer to home as I would start the day with the location that is the most distance away. My last appointment is around 4pm, unless it has been arranged earlier. When I'm finished on the road once again I'll go back onto the computer and catch up with orders and correspondence and place the day's orders. The virtual office run by Lisburn Enterprise Organisation is great. I have a dedicated phone number and the staff answer calls on my behalf. I collect my post from the centre and all deliveries are made here too. It means I can go out and about and not worry about missing calls or deliveries. When I go home in the evenings I will check for more emails and then have my dinner. I like to spend time with my family and I have also started to play badminton again after 29 years. Most evenings I head to bed when the news is over around 11pm.

Ulster Star