HSE International ISSUE 108 - Page 36

RoSPA HEALTH & SAFETY AWARDS 2017 REVIEW RoSPA HEALTH & SAFETY AWARDS 2017 REVIEW T he Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ (RoSPA) Health & Safety Awards scheme is the largest and longest-running programme of its kind in the UK, and one of the most prestigious in the world. The awards recognise commitment to accident and ill health prevention and are open to businesses and organisations of all types and sizes from across the UK and overseas. The awards judge entrants’ health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement. RoSPA awards mark achievement at Merit, Bronze, Silver and Gold levels. Organisations maintaining high standards can win at Gold Medal, President’s Award and Orders of Distinction levels. Presentations are also made for more than 20 sector-specific awards, recognising excellence in specialist areas such as the Management of Occupational Road Risk (MORR). 2017 marks a key milestone in the family charity’s history, being its 100th anniversary. R oSPA was founded during the First World War. Concerns had been raised about black-out conditions which were causing an increase in pedestrian deaths; people would unwittingly step into the path of vehicles approaching from behind. As a result, in 1916, a public meeting was held at Caxton Hall, Westminster. This meeting lead to pedestrians being encouraged to walk facing oncoming traffic, prompting a 70 per cent drop in accidents in the first year alone! Since its humble beginnings and over the course of the last century, RoSPA has been instrumental in pioneering 36 HSE INTERNATIONAL numerous safety advancements, many of which we now take for granted. Notably, RoSPA was responsible for the establishment of the Cycling Proficiency Scheme and lead the campaign to ban drink driving in 1967. The organisation has directed many other successful campaigns, including compulsory seatbelt wearing and the criminalisation of handheld mobile phone use while driving. To honour its anniversary, on Thursday 25th May, RoSPA held a Centenary Garden Party at Buckingham Palace, which was hosted by HRH The Duke of York and HRH Princess Eugenie of York. 3,500 guests attended the Garden Party, including supporters, RoSPA members, award winners, staff, and friends. The Duke and Princess, attending on behalf of RoSPA’s Patron, Her Majesty The Queen, met and spoke to many of the guests, including accident victims and their families. Stories were shared about the importance of accident prevention in all aspects of daily life – in the workplace, the home, on the road and at leisure. Errol Taylor, RoSPA’s acting Chief Executive, commented, “Everyone who attended the garden party had such a wonderful day. “It surpassed all expectations and the sun shone brightly all day.” The garden party was the pinnacle of RoSPA’s ongoing centenary celebrations, which also included a special exhibition at the Library of Birmingham. The exhibition showcased 100 years of accident prevention and included many of RoSPA’s iconic and historical workplace safety posters.