The Mineral Products Association’s prestigious Health & Safety Awards 2014 was held on Tuesday 4 November bringing together over 70 organisations to celebrate commitment, progress and achievement in health and safety and share best practice. In an interview with PoliticsHome, MPA’s Health and Safety Manager, Kevin Stevens, tells more.
What was the theme for this year’s conference and awards?
Our theme for this year was ‘Reducing Harm through Leadership and Workforce Engagement’. We selected this theme as we recognise these are two fundamental principles to achieving even further reduction in accidents and ill health on our journey to Zero Harm.
How many organisations entered?
We had over 70 organisations in the room with a significantly increased number of our producer members there to listen, learn, share thinking and celebrate best practice.
37 companies, our highest yet, submitted 150 award entries.
Are the awards only open to MPA members?
The scheme is open to all with an interest in health & safety. MPA welcomes entries from every organisation in the supply chain, including MPA Members; non-Members; Contractors; Consultants; Manufacturers; Suppliers; and Regulators.
Can both individuals and organisations be nominated?
Our individual recognition awards are chosen by our panel of judges, where they can see those people that have gone the extra mile to ensure a solution has produced a sustainable reduction in injury or ill health.
In what way do the awards encourage good health and safety practice?
Health and safety is the top priority for MPA members and our conference and awards aim to celebrate outstanding practice in this field and inspire the best possible performance.
One unusual aspect of these awards is the Judging Visit – why is that important?
Whilst the initial submissions give the judges a brief outline, the visits not only validate the submission, but we often find that there is a much bigger story and success behind the submission, creating yet another opportunity to share information across our industry.
How many sites did the judges visit for this year’s awards?
This year our independent panel of judges shortlisted 43 submissions from 150 entries, all 43 sites were visited by at least one judge.
Tell me about the range of trophies that can be won – from the TfL Trophy to the MPQC Trophy.
There are 12 trophies available each year.
Eight are category specific that recognise innovation to specific health and safety problems:
• Bitumen; Asphalt; Contract Surfacing – (RBA Trophy) - Sponsored by RBA
• Occupational Health and Well Being (Wimpey Minerals Trophy) - Sponsored by Addax International
• Transport Initiatives (Blue Circle Trophy) - Sponsored by Brigade
• Reducing Occupational Road Risk (TfL Trophy) - Sponsored by Transport for London
• Contractor Safety – (BACMI Trophy) - Sponsored by Mentor Training
• Behavioural Safety; Safety Culture; Leadership – (MPQC Trophy) - Sponsored by MPQC
• Worker Involvement – (TUC Trophy) - Sponsored by Institute of Quarrying
• Engineering Initiatives (MPA Trophy) - Sponsored by Hycontrol
Four of the awards recognise health and safety excellence or significant achievement:
• Recognition of Individuals
• Special MPA Awards:
Companies with less than 100 employees
Companies with 100 to 1000 employees
• Sir Frank Davies Trophy (Companies with less than 1000 employees) - Sponsored by Industrial Diagnostics Company
• John Crabbe Memorial Trophy (Outstanding Excellence in Health & Safety) - Sponsored by Babcock International
What happened on the day? Were there interactive panel sessions? How many people attended?
300 people attended the event. Every year we are having to increase the size of the venue to accommodate the numbers that come to celebrate health and safety achievement, but equally to listen, to debate, and to share best practice.
The day is divided into two sessions, in the morning we host a conference that brings experts from within our membership and external organisations to address the audience on the theme for the day. This year we had ROSPA’s Chief Executive, Tom Mullarkey MBE; and Kevin Furniss, APM Terminals, key stakeholder for the Olympic delivery, ICE Medal Winner.
This year was a first for the event as we introduced our interactive panel sessions through a piece of drama ‘Trust Me, I’m Leader’ set up as a Smith & Jones type dialogue sketch. ‘Dan and Dave are sitting at a small table facing each other in their local pub discussing the latest company leadership campaign’. The use of drama allowed us to bring realistic elements of the workplace to the stage, in a light-hearted but thought provoking manner. The piece left a number of open-ended questions that were then answered by our panel of experts.
The afternoon session is about celebrating Health and Safety achievement and sharing best practice. This year, it was opened by Mandy Hickson, first female RAF GR4 Tornado pilot to fly active service and motivational leader.
The award ceremony is divided into two sessions. Each of the previously mentioned categories have a number of shortlisted submissions that have produced a video for everyone in the audience to see. Winners, Runners Up and Highly Commended are announced.
This year in between the two sessions we launched a new interactive tool - the industry’s first Health and Safety App, ‘Safequarry’.
Over recent years the safe quarry.com website has made a huge impact across the mineral products industry and beyond; 112 countries worldwide. It is packed with vital information, opportunities for learning, and sharing; preventing injury and ill health.
But is doesn’t always reach the people who might benefit most – those who work, sometimes literally, at the industry’s rock face. That is where MPA’s new ‘Safequarry’ app will score, by reaching out to the many who have switched on to mobile devices for their web browsing. This will potentially give us access to 45,000 people within the mineral products industry in the UK alone.
Why does MPA host these awards?
Improving health and safety performance is the top priority for the MPA and its members. We all recognise that if we are going to achieve our target of Zero Harm, continuous improvement within each company and collectively as a sector must be made, it is absolutely vital.
MPA members have proven themselves to be committed to this aim by being unselfish and sharing ideas, best practices and experiences and the awards demonstrates some of the best.
Whilst the awards rightly celebrate Health and Safety excellence, the real winners are those that take an idea or best practice back to their company, and prevent just one accident, because if we all do the same, we are even closer to our ultimate goal of Zero Harm.
The MPA Safequarry app can be downloaded at the links below: