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CEO's desk - August 21

12 August 2021

Alan Murray applauds the efforts and the successes of the 2020 BSIF Safety Awards.

SUDDENLY, IT seems that summer is passing by and we are already eight months into the post Brexit period. From a Regulatory point of view the team at BSIF are still working hard with the authorities and the Approved Bodies on the implementation of the rules and their detailed application. At the end of this year the standstill period which allows the acceptance of CE marked product being first placed on the market in GB ends and will be replaced by UKCA. 

This deadline is to a great extent arbitrary and politically expedient and I have been in correspondence with senior politicians calling for this change-over date to be extended to reflect the rules applying to Medical Devices where the standstill period runs through to June 2023. I have made the case, that given the challenges in PPE last year and “Easement 2020/403” this category should be treated as a special case. To date my requests for date changes have not been accepted. We will keep you informed of any news on that front.

However, as we continue to take steps back on the road to normal commercial life I wanted to dedicate this column to applauding the efforts and celebrating the successes of the 2020 BSIF Safety Awards. Our 2020 “Awards” were delayed till this year and for obvious reasons they could not be celebrated in the traditional way with our black tie awards event. Notwithstanding, there was a fantastic entry and the winners were announced at our virtual event, hosted brilliantly by Alistair McGowan on the 28th of April.

The four award categories were Product Innovation, Safety Solutions, Customer Service and for the first time our new award in Water Pollution Prevention.

Product Innovation: The entries in this category were at record numbers and once again reflected the dedication and creativity that manufacturers and user partners put into their mission of keeping people safe. The entries reflected fantastically designed products and systems that will contribute to improvements in occupational health outcomes in the UK.

Winner – Coming out on top was the “Net Recovery System” from the Brilliant Ideas Company. This innovative system can be used on sites where safety netting is used during the construction of new building floors. The system is enables the timely recovery of any person who has fallen or dropped into the netting. Netting will halt the fall of an injured or ill person, but timely recovery of the individual from the netting is vital for their future. 

Brilliant Ideas commented on how delighted they were to have won, citing their ongoing mission and passion to improve health and safety in construction by the creation of new products.

Deciding on winners is a very tough task and the independent panel, as ever, had a very difficult job in separating the winner form the highly commended entrants.

Highly Commended – Design Reality with their “Fit Check Technology”, a system for respirator sensing, monitoring and alerting to accurately determine if the donned full face or half mask is fitting effectively. This system reassures the wearer that the mask on which they were fit tested is donned correctly and performing each and every time it is worn.

Design Reality’s Mel Randall said that they were honoured that the product and the company were recognised for their innovative approach to RPE compliance and the opportunity to protect thousands of workers in hazardous environments.

Highly Commended – Kier Highways and the “Instaboom”, an incredibly useful innovation for preventing vehicles coming too close to workforces in busy and challenging environments such as motorways and highways.

On behalf of Kier, Darren Ruane stated how proud they were to receive the award.

With the overall winner and 2 highly commended entrants decided upon, the Product Innovation category winners were completed by 2 further Commended entries. Centurion Safety with XIV Arc Screen, utilising nanotechnology that uses the arc energy to modify the screen at the point of the flash and Panduit Verisafe with their Voltage Assessor system. Panduit Verisafe’s simple push button system enables the confirmation of the absence of any voltage before electrical equipment is accessed. Well done everyone!

The Safety Solution Award: This highly sought after award is central to the purpose of BSIF and the membership recognising major improvements in occupational safety derived through supplier and customer collaboration in addressing safety challenges.

Winner- Hunter Apparel Solutions, with the programme developed to improve the long term health outcomes for fire fighters. The initiative brings together high quality PPE and its care and process management delivering ongoing protection levels to maintain protection levels for wearers. 

In the Safety Solutions Award there were 3 further Commended entries

Lyreco - with a holistic PPE sourcing and management system delivering reduced safety incidents and a happy confident workforce at Kuehne and Nagel across the UK.

VPS UK Ltd - were commended for their holistic solution to worker safety on highways involving an integrated system of cameras, sensors and warnings to alert unauthorised vehicles inadvertently approaching areas with highway operatives.

Brilliant Ideas – already the winner in the Product Innovation Category Brilliant Ideas were commended further in Safety Solutions section for their system to ensure vehicle stability when lifting heavy pallets from delivery vehicles

Customer Service Award: Innovative products and creative solutions are vital as is reliable, effective customer service when it comes to completing the delivery of safety in this market. The BSIF Customer Service Awards recognises exceptional service in our field and is voted for by entrants own customers.

Winner – Essential Skillz

Highly Commended – Concept Products and Martor Safety knives

Commended – Lyreco and Seton

In winning the award for the second year in a row Essential Skillz stated that in addition to being incredibly proud of their win and the efforts of their entire team they are delighted to feel that their customers feel the same as they do.

Lyreco said they were delighted to win a Commended award for both Safety Solutions and Customer Service. Lyreco‘s strategic focus is to protect people and the environment and these awards recognise the work it is doing to support its customers and their PPE requirements. 

Pictured from left to right collecting Lyreco's award from BSIF's Roy Wilder is senior product manager hand & foot protection Nadine Sherwood, head of category – PPE Helen Moran and product manager – above the neck protection Alison Hendy.

Water Pollution Prevention Award: With the damage by human activity to the environment in sharp focus, along with safety and health the BSIF Water Pollution Prevention Awards were established to recognise key management programmes, products and initiates in this vital area of protection.

Joint Winners – Loughborough University and River and Canal Rescue with Bilgeaway.

The joint-winner entry from Loughborough University included a detailed environmental management plan across their extensive campus which involves sensitive diverse sites including two ancient woodlands and interconnected watercourses. The plan protects and manages the environment while providing access to a large university population of over 20,000.

The other joint-winner entry from River and Canal Rescue featured their Bilgeaway pump system which is the world’s first environmentally friendly discharge filter protecting our fragile waterways from the scourge of contamination by hydrocarbons.

River and Canal Rescue said they were “over the moon” to receive this award and the recognition of its contribution in protecting our fragile waterways. Similarly Nik Hunt of Loughborough said that the University was delighted to receive the award and the recognition of the hard work that goes into protecting such a large campus.

In closing, and with no time to catch breath the BSIF Safety Awards for 2021 are now underway, as we attempt to catch up with our normal annual timetable, disrupted like everything else by the pandemic. Thank you to all our past, present and future entrants your efforts make a significant contribution to Safety, Health and the Environment.

Alan Murray is chief executive of BSIF. For more information, visit www.bsif.co.uk