James Woolgrove, Chairman, and Valerie Kennedy, Programme Secretary and Web Champion, attended the Alan Butler Award luncheon at the House of Lords on 26th January 2015 to receive a silver award on behalf of the SCOHSG committee.

John Cairns (left) Chairman, Safety Groups UK, presents Alan Butler Silver Award to SCOHSG representatives Valerie Kennedy and James Woolgrove.
John Cairns (left) Chairman, Safety Groups UK, presents Alan Butler Silver Award to SCOHSG representatives Valerie Kennedy and James Woolgrove.

James and Val spent a wonderful day at the Palace of Westminster and hope that the group will achieve a gold award next year!

The annual Alan Butler Awards recognise the achievements of local safety groups working throughout the UK. This national award scheme is sponsored by BT and is administered by Safety Groups UK (SGUK).

SCOHSG’s silver award was given in recognition of the work that the group does to promote best practice in workplace health and safety management to the wider community, especially to small and medium sized businesses.

The awards ceremony took place in a House of Lords committee room prior to an award luncheon in the Cholmondeley Room.

John Cairns, Chairman of Safety Groups UK, thanked Lord Brougham & Vaux CBE, for hosting the meeting and the award lunch at the Palace of Westminster. He then welcomed representatives from UK health and safety groups whose invaluable work ‘at the coal face’ was being recognised by the Alan Butler Awards.

Jane Willis, Director of Cross-cutting Interventions Directorate, HSE then spoke about HSE’s support for the work done by SGUK and HSE’s current objectives. She explained that HSE had been working hard with Government representatives to rationalise health and safety law with the aim of having less law, with clearer guidance about management systems that are needed to protect employees from unsafe practices. She said that HSE planned to target high risk premises and activities and to give increased support to small and medium sized businesses. To this end the HSE web site has been re-vamped and now provides a wealth of easily accessible guidance for a wide range of industries and workplaces.

Errol Taylor, Deputy Chief Executive, RoSPA then spoke to the meeting about the need to reduce accidents and ill health. Roger Bibbings, Occupational Safety Adviser, RoSPA  said that RoSPA strongly supported the workdone by local safety groups affiliated to SGUK.  Jane Crook, Lead Health and Safety Advisor at BT the sponsor of the awards said that proud BT are to be involved with Safety Groups UK and were of the work that local safety groups are doing to encourage effective workplace safety management.

The meeting was also attended by many leading figures in health and safety including Judith Hackitt, Chair, HSE; Neal Stone, Acting Chief Executive, British Safety Council; Phillip Pearson, Chief Executive International Institute of Risk and Safety Management.

After the awards luncheon safety group representatives enjoyed iconic views of the Thames from Westminster Palace terrace

Valerie Kennedy and James Woolgrove on the terrace at Westminster Palace
Valerie Kennedy and James Woolgrove on the terrace at Westminster Palace
Alan Butler award presentation