Birmingham volunteer group handed top safety award


A Birmingham volunteer group and registered charity which works to help make the area’s workplaces safer has been honoured for its efforts with a top award from Safety Groups UK (SGUK).

The Birmingham Health, Safety and Environment Association (BHSEA) has been named the overall winner at the annual Alan Butler Awards, which recognise excellence and achievement of organisations within the Safety Groups UK movement.

Nine groups from around the country were handed the top Gold award, before the Birmingham group was announced as the overall winner.

SGUK is made up of around 70 local voluntary organisations, which each consist of health and safety professionals who give up their free time to promote, share information and offer practical help to employers in their communities in a bid to prevent accidents and ill health at work.

BHSEA was recognised for offering a high standard of regular events, strong communication and links with the wider community, including SMEs, through the Working Well Together programmes. One of its major achievements included its exceptionally well-attended and well-regarded construction seminar Looking Back – Moving Forward.

Lord Brougham and Vaux, president of SGUK, and John Cairns, SGUK’s chairman, presented the awards during a ceremony at the House of Lords on Monday, January 25.

BHSEA chairman George Allcock said: “It was an honour and privilege to receive the overall Alan Butler Award on behalf of BHSEA, and we are indebted to all our council and management members, past and present, who collectively have made this possible. 

“Our current approach started three years ago when a review indicated that a more structured, professional approach was needed to help us stay attractive and relevant to our members and other stakeholders. The EFQM Excellence Model, which utilises the 'plan-do-check-act' approach, was adopted, and its continued application is helping to guide our way forward.

“Although we still have a lot to learn from others including the other Gold award winners, we are keen that the BHSEA success be used to help encourage and support improvement in other safety groups and in health and safety generally in accordance with the SGUK mission. To this end we are happy to be contacted by anyone who would like to know more.”

An independent panel of judges for the award considered factors such as how groups communicated with the community and other members; their programme of events, seminars and topics offered through the year; member recruitment and retention; and how groups supported the Health and Safety Executive and its strategy.

John Cairns said: “A tremendous day was had by all at the House of Lords to celebrate the outstanding efforts and achievements of local safety groups. A capacity audience was present both at the morning meeting and the afternoon awards ceremony.

“Many congratulations to the overall winner of the Alan Butler Awards, the Birmingham Health, Safety and Environmental Association.”

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) is linked to Safety Groups UK as it provides the secretariat for the organisation and hosts its website – The Alan Butler Awards are sponsored by BT.

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