Council Worker of the Year
Andy Hollingshead, Leicestershire County Council's health and safety adviser in the Adult Social Care Sector, won the 2009 National Council Worker of the Year Award and cites 10 years of entering RoSPA's Occupational Health and Safety Awards as being key to his success.
Andy, whose entry for Leicestershire CC earned the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards Scheme Gold Medal, said: "The RoSPA Awards have significantly raised our health and safety profile, which I could never have envisaged 10 years ago when we started entering the Awards scheme.
"I believe it has had a snowball effect, helping to turn some of the negativity surrounding 'health and safety' into a positive 'can do' attitude with added value for the community. It has been the key driver to move health and safety forward within Leicestershire County Council Social Care."
Andy has helped cut the number of assaults on social care staff by a staggering 80 per cent - incidents fell from more than 1,500 in 1998 to less than 350 in 2008, leading the authority to become a UK leader in this field. Many such incidents are not intended assaults, but are the result of mental health issues or behavioural difficulties in patients and service users.
"By exposing users to controlled risks that are managed sensibly, the outcomes are outstanding. Our service users earn an income selling produce they have grown in allotments, and furniture they have made, meaning they feel valued and that they have contributed to their community.
There is no doubt; the RoSPA Awards Scheme has been instrumental in this fantastic achievement
"There is no doubt; the RoSPA Awards Scheme has been instrumental in this fantastic achievement, which has led to my nomination for Council Worker of the Year," said Andy.
With "health and safety" receiving such bad press at the moment, stories like Andy's should be widely publicised - and achievements recognised.
Click here to watch the nomination video
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