A memorial lecture in honour of the highly-respected health and safety practitioner Allan St John Holt, OBE, is to be staged annually by Royal Mail and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents.
Allan Holt, who died, aged 63, in 2007, made an outstanding contribution to improving workplace health and safety in the UK and was Group Head of Health and Safety at Royal Mail. He was the first person to be awarded RoSPA's Distinguished Service Award posthumously.
The inaugural lecture, entitled “Health and Safety: Past, Present and Future?”, will be given by John Rimington CB, former Director General of the Health and Safety Executive, on October 9, 2008, at Royal Mail's Management Centre, Coton House, near Rugby.
Dr Steve Boorman, Director of Corporate Responsibility, Royal Mail Group plc, said: “Allan Holt devoted his life to advancing the cause of better health and safety at work and was massively influential in the professionalism of this important subject.
“To commemorate his life, we intend to hold a lecture annually to provide a platform for challenge and debate and to stimulate fresh thinking about how to further reduce work-related accidents and ill health.”
Allan Holt pursued a career in occupational safety and health from the early 1960s. In 1970, he qualified to become a member of the Institution of Industrial Safety Officers, which became the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH), on whose Council of Management he served for nearly 30 years. Twice holding the role of IOSH President, he played a major role in the organisation's global development and he was also one of the driving forces behind the formation of NEBOSH – the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health.
He worked for many of the UK's leading businesses and was recognised internationally, particularly in the USA, for his work in construction health and safety. In 1991, he published “Principles of health and safety at work”, which became an obligatory practical text for students worldwide.
Roger Bibbings, RoSPA Occupational Safety Adviser, said: “Allan was a leading thinker in the health and safety field. RoSPA is delighted to be able to play a part in ensuring the valuable work that he did will not only be remembered, but will continue to be an inspiration for years to come.”