28 January 2019

Lord Brougham and Vaux, President of Safety Groups UK and one of the UK’s acclaimed safety peers, presented a Gold award to representatives from SCOHSG at an award luncheon held in the House of Lords terrace room. He commended South Cumbria Occupational Health and Safety Group for its commitment to helping member companies develop practical health and safety policies as well as keeping up-to-date with regulatory requirements and promoting a positive workplace health and safety culture.

Lord Brougham, centre making the presentation to James Woolgrove.
Others from left Carol Stearne (SCOHSG), Norman Stevenson (Chairman, SGUK), Lord Cullen and Geoff Price, James Riddick, Val Kennedy and        
Jim Tongue (all SCOHSG committee representatives).

James Woolgrove, SCOHSG Chairman said: “…With two gold and three silver awards for SCOHSG’s work during the last five years, the group – which includes company members such as BAE Systems Submarines, James Cropper, Kendal College and Morecambe Bay University Hospitals Trust as well as 35 other companies – was delighted, but they were determined not to become complacent…”

James explained that the awards were organised by Safety Groups UK, and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and that they were sponsored by BT and idverde this year. He said that the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) also support this initiative because these awards are a top-level recognition of the important role of safety groups in helping to raise awareness of workplace health and safety risks and developing practical ways of eliminating those risks.

James said: “…We were particularly commended for our work in South Lakeland schools and in colleges specialising in training for rural industries. We believe that preparing the next generation to work safely is vital…”

Val Kennedy, Programme Secretary, said: “…Our group has been running for over 60 years. During that time the workplace has changed beyond recognition but getting employees and managers to understand workplace risks and develop systems to eliminate them is still the key factor in creating a healthy and safe work environment. We organise a programme of monthly meetings where member companies can send representatives to hear ‘expert’ safety practitioners speak on a range of ‘hot’ workplace health and safety topics…”

James said that for him health and safety was about every worker returning home as fit and healthy as when they arrived and not, as many people perceived, all about policies and paperwork. He said: “…If we can help employers achieve that, then we’re getting it right. I was particularly pleased to hear keynote speaker Philip White, HSE’s Director of Regulation, saying it was important not to over-regulate industries that were basically safe…”

James went on to say that: “…One of our main objectives is to help small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) by providing a forum where they can learn about practical, easy to understand measures that will help to keep everyone safe at work…”

SCOHSG committee representatives in the Cholmondeley Room,
House of Lords prior to the award luncheon in Westminster Terrace room.
From the left: Geoff Price, Carol Stearne, Jimmy Tongue, James Riddick and
Val Kennedy
28 January 2019 View from Westminster Terrace