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Local safety groups honoured for standing up for safety

Local groups that promote the prevention of accidents and ill health in workplaces across the country have been honoured at a national awards ceremony.

The winning organisations – all part of the Safety Groups UK movement – were recognised at the Alan Butler Awards for Excellence at the House of Lords.

Around 70 local groups form Safety Groups UK. A long-established part of the country's health and safety system, they provide forums for communicating health and safety information nationwide and offer help to employers, particularly small businesses.

The awards scheme, sponsored by BT for the last 13 years, was established to recognise and highlight best practice among leading safety groups.

The winners were:

Best overall programme – Northern Ireland Safety Group and Swansea and West Wales Occupational Safety Group (joint winners), with Avon Occupational Safety and Health Group highly commended

Best support for HSE (Health and Safety Executive) priority topics – South Cumbria Occupational Health and Safety Group

Best seminar/workshop – Nottinghamshire Occupational Safety and Health Association, with Suffolk and North Essex Occupational Safety Group highly commended

Best communication – Safety, Health and Environment Forum (SHEF) Scotland, with Herefordshire Health and Safety Group and Lea and Ouse Valleys Safety Association both highly commended

Roger Bibbings, occupational safety adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents and secretary of Safety Groups UK, said: “Group members, who are volunteers, are continuing their hard work at a time when health and safety is facing some tough challenges. During the current recession, for example, businesses will need additional encouragement to keep faith with the cause of accident and ill health prevention.

“Everyone involved in health and safety has a much bigger communications job on their hands, and the winning groups set a fine example for others to follow.”

Lord Jordan of Bournville, RoSPA President, presented the awards on January 22.

RoSPA supports Safety Groups UK, provides its secretariat and hosts its website (www.safetygroupsuk.org.uk). Local contacts can be found on the website.

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