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National Physical Laboratory wins top honour at prestigious health and safety awards


National Physical Laboratory (NPL) has won the top honour at the country’s most prestigious and longest-running health and safety awards.

The organisation, which is the UK’s National Measurement Institute, was presented with the Sir George Earle Trophy, an annual prize which recognises the best entry in the RoSPA Health and Safety Awards, at a gala ceremony last night (July 5).

In selecting it as the winner, the judging panel noted that rather than just relying on formal systems and procedures, the strength of its health and safety management capability was rooted in the care and concern shown by the organisation’s culture.

Judges praised NPL’s commitment to embracing a wide safety agenda, including a strong focus on developing the safety skillset of the next generation. A new focus on investing in and supporting apprentices is being widely embraced, embedding health and safety values and knowledge.

Apprentices are also widely used in NPL’s STEM programme, providing educational outreach to thousands of school and college students to promote interest in science and medicine, while also teaching pupils to understand and manage the risks associated with the exciting experiments and activities they take part in.

Errol Taylor, RoSPA’s chief executive, said: “The panel was impressed by the strong example being set by NPL within its industry, and its approach not just to its own health and safety management, but shaping the understanding of the international science-based working community.

“Through involvement with many other organisations and networks in the laboratory-based science field, both in the UK and overseas – including certain leading universities – NPL is able to share widely and compare operational experience and best practice in health and safety, and make a positive impact outside its own confines.”

Martyn Sené, deputy chief executive at NPL, said: “It’s an absolute honour to receive RoSPA’s Sir George Earle Trophy. Being recognised as best entry to the awards is a testament to the hard work of all staff here at NPL and their commitment to ensuring the highest possible standard of health and safety.

“We will continue to work with our people at NPL to improve our occupational health, safety and wellbeing.”

The presentation of the trophy was made during the Birmingham leg of the RoSPA Health and Safety Awards – other ceremonies are held in London and Glasgow. The awards programme, which is sponsored by NEBOSH (the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health), is the largest occupational health and safety awards programme in the UK, and is now into its 62nd year. It recognises organisations’ commitment to continuous improvement in the prevention of accidents and ill health at work, looking at entrants’ overarching health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

While the majority of awards are non-competitive – recognising individual organisations’ achievements – competitive awards are presented in 20 industry sectors and for specialist areas of health and safety management.

The industry sector award winners in the RoSPA Awards 2018 are: Chemical – Gulf Petrochemical Industries Company; Commercial and Business Services – The Royal Bank of Scotland Group; Construction – Commercial, sponsored by QBE Insurance GroupMorrison Utility Services; Construction – Engineering – Colas Limited; ConstructionHousebuilding and Property Development – Berkeley Homes (East Thames) Limited; Education and Training Services – South and City College Birmingham; Electricity – Ras Girtas Power Company; Engineering Services – Nuvia Limited; Facilities Management – EMCOR UK at AWE; Food and Drink Manufacturing – The Lettuce Company (Sussex); Hotel and Catering – Aramark – Offshore; International Sector Award, sponsored by airswebRas Girtas Power Company; Leisure – Caravan and Motorhome Club; Manufacturing, sponsored by QBE Insurance GroupMoores Furniture Group; Mining and Quarrying – CEMEX UK Marine Limited – CEMEX UK Operations Ltd; National Defence – BAE Systems, Land (UK), Washington; Oil and Gas – Bahrain National Gas Company; Public Service and Local Government – North East Lincolnshire Council; Research and Development – National Physical Laboratory; Transport, Storage and Distribution, sponsored by QBE Insurance GroupAS Watson Superdrug/Savers/The Perfume Shop Distribution. There were also categories for Healthcare Services, in which Barchester Healthcare was highly commended, and Water, in which Northumbrian Water Group was highly commended.

The specialist award winners in the RoSPA Awards 2018 are: RoSPA Fleet Safety Technology Trophy, sponsored by Tesco Dotcom – CBES Ltd; RoSPA Fleet Safety Trophy, sponsored by Allianz – SGN; Workforce Involvement in Safety and Health Trophy, sponsored by Springfields Fuels Ltd – Nuvia Limited.

Other specialist awards categories were: Health at Work Award – Osborne (commended); and the RoSPA International Dilmun Environmental Award, sponsored by GPIC – McGee Group (highly commended).

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