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Norman Stevenson

07 June 2017

The Scottish Chamber of Safety (SCoS) is the umbrella group and coordinating body of currently eight active occupational health and safety groups in Scotland and it works in very close liaison with Safety Groups UK (SGUK); the larger coordinating body for the 72 groups throughout the UK.

The SCoS awards scheme for group members aims to recognise the innovative work being done to raise the standards of health, safety and environment management in the UK and to share success. The 2017 winners’ presentation ceremony took place recently at the Scotland Works Exhibition and Conference in Glasgow, where the top award - The Lord Cullen Trophy  - was awarded to civil engineering firm, Freyssinet.

Freyssinet’s entry was based on an initiative which commenced at the planning stage of a contract to refurbish the tunnel lining of the Glasgow Subway, and it embraced most, if not all, of the segments of the UK strategy for occupational health and safety, Helping GB Work Well.

Christophe Zapirain, Freyssinet’s project manager for the subway contract, gave a presentation on his entry to a meeting and seminar of the Scottish Chamber of Safety, where there was representation from most of the local occupational health and safety groups in Scotland. Also in the audience were representatives from SGUK, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, RoSPA, IOSH, SCHWL, local authorities and many others.

Christophe provided an excellent insight to the firm’s entry (entitled Overhead conveyor and drilling rig), demonstrating throughout how the project had embraced the six principles of the Helping GB Work Well strategy:

  1. Acting together: This was a joint venture contract working in partnership with Strathclyde Partnership for Transport
  2. Tackling ill health: The overhead conveyor  used in the project substantially reduced manual handling in a unique environment, thus reducing the risk of injury to muscles, joints and bones
  3. Managing risk well: The bespoke drilling rig reduced the amount of working at height for many operatives whilst providing the added value of also reducing exposure to harmful levels of vibration and dust
  4. Supporting small employers: Many of the operatives were self-employed agency workers
  5. Keeping pace with change: Due to the unique nature of the Glasgow Subway contract, the company had to adapt to the environment in an extremely efficient manner – this was no run-of-the-mill construction job
  6. Sharing success: This was adequately demonstrated throughout the presentation by virtue of Christophe’s enthusiastic delivery of his entry and his willingness to share good practice.

The other winners at the Scottish Chamber of Safety Awards were:

2nd place: Scottish Gas Networks for its entry Locking cooker valve received the Scottish Chamber of Safety Silver Punch Bowl;

3rd place: The Binn Group received the Stevenson Shield for its entry on an improved fire management system;

4th place: Brand-Rex received a Certificate of Merit for its entry on an electronic near-miss reporting system;

Safety Group West Scotland was awarded the Albert Porter Rose Bowl as the Lord Cullen Award winner’s local group.

Also at the presentation ceremony, Tayside Integrated Safety Association was presented with a Distinguished Service Award to celebrate its 70th anniversary and Safety Group West Scotland was awarded a Distinguished Service Award for its 80th anniversary.

Information about the work of the Scottish Chamber of Safety can be found on its website - https://scos.org.uk/ or on the SGUK Website.

Norman Stevenson, chairman of the Scottish Chamber of Safety and SGUK Trustee