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2010 Occupational Health and Safety Awards launched by The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has launched its 2010 Occupational Health and Safety Awards, coinciding with the anniversary of a law that led to major improvements in the protection of workers.

The RoSPA Awards – an annual celebration of good practice in health and safety in the UK and overseas – are open to businesses and organisations of all sizes and types. In addition to looking at accident records, they consider organisations’ overarching health and safety management systems and recognise practices such as strong leadership and workforce involvement in accident and ill health prevention.

The development of robust health and safety management systems was encouraged by the Health and Safety at Work etc Act 1974, which celebrates its 35th anniversary today. The Act, which was an umbrella for bringing together and reforming a patchwork of existing health and safety laws, provided a framework of goal-setting duties for reducing occupational accidents and ill health, stating that organisations should ensure the health and safety of their workers and others "so far as is reasonably practicable".

The closing date for entries into the RoSPA Awards is February 12, 2010, although entrants should start preparing their submissions now.

New features have been added to the awards scheme, now in its 54th year, in response to requests from previous winners.

For the first time, organisations can pre-register (before December 24) to benefit from discounted entry. They then have until February 12 to send their full submissions.

There is also a new optional feedback service for organisations entering for a non-competitive achievement award. Feedback will still be given as standard to those entering the competitive sector awards.

The awards are sponsored by NEBOSH – the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health – and presentations will take place next year in Birmingham in May (alongside Safety and Health Expo) and Glasgow in September.

The majority of awards are non-competitive and mark achievement at merit, bronze, silver and gold levels. Gold medals, president’s awards and orders of distinction are presented to organisations maintaining high standards over time.
Competitive awards go to the best entries in 22 industry sectors including construction, healthcare, transport and logistics, engineering, manufacturing and education. There are awards for workforce involvement, training, occupational health, environmental management and managing occupational road risk (MORR), and a trophy for the best organisation operating or based in Scotland. RoSPA’s top accolade is the Sir George Earle Trophy, which was won by Northern Rail in 2009.

The top MORR award is being sponsored by Allianz Insurance plc for the first time, becoming the RoSPA/Allianz MORR Trophy.

Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA chief executive, said: "It is 35 years since the introduction of one of the most enduring and successful pieces of social legislation of the past four decades, which set the scene for the proper management of health and safety to save lives and reduce injuries.

"The RoSPA Awards recognise organisations which have achieved or are striving to attain excellence in such management practices. More than 1,650 winners were honoured in 2009 and I hope their example will inspire other organisations to enter the scheme, both to gain independent recognition of their own achievements and to contribute to our shared knowledge of good practice."

For more information about the RoSPA Awards, or to request an entry form, visit www.rospa.com/awards, call 0121 248 2090 or email awards@rospa.com.

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