RoSPA recognises professionals’ distinguished dedication to health and safety

RoSPA recognises professionals’ distinguished dedication to health and safety

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents has honoured the work of an ergonomics expert and a respiratory and skin specialist who have gone out of their way to help save lives by raising awareness of work-related ill health and injuries.

Professor Peter Buckle, director of the Robens Institute and senior research fellow at Imperial College London, and Dr Bob Rajan-Sithamparanadarajah OBE, president of the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS), have been recognised as recipients of the safety charity’s Distinguished Service Awards.

RoSPA Distinguished Service Awards are reserved for individuals who make exceptional contributions to society through their work in health and safety.

Professor Buckle, who was previously at the University of Surrey for over 20 years, has made an invaluable contribution to occupational safety and health, through his lecturing and research and its application to the world of work. His research in the area of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) combines his skills in epidemiology (particularly the identification of risk factors for back pain and upper limb disorders) with those of ergonomics to enable the exposure to risk factors to be quantified. He has also played a major role in the field of health care systems design and patient safety and in ergonomics systems approaches to understanding errors and accidents.

Dr Rajan-Sithamparanadarajah, “Dr Bob” as he is affectionately referred to throughout the UK, has played a huge role in the prevention of respiratory ill health by increasing workers’ understanding and awareness of the risks of breathing in harmful materials and preventing inhalation of such substances. He has campaigned for the effective protection of workers’ skin – the largest organ in the human body – from damage by exposure to materials causing dermatitis. Recently, he has had a major input to the award winning “Health Risks at work - Do you know yours?” project, which after its success in Scotland is being rolled out by Safety Groups UK with the support of many of the major UK health and safety organisations.

Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA chief executive, said: “RoSPA Distinguished Service Awards honour those individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the promotion of safety, health and well-being in the workplace. They recognise with special praise the huge effort and lifetime dedication that these extraordinary people have made to improve society for the benefit of all.

“Professor Buckle and Dr Rajan-Sithamparanadarajah have both helped to bring about change and improve the working lives of millions of people. They have made a real difference in the promotion of safety and health and their rare qualities of knowledge, boundless energy and leadership are a credit to them and an inspiration to all who work with them. We are proud to recognise their superb achievements by the presentation of these RoSPA Awards.”

Dr Rajan-Sithamparanadarajah received his award during the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards in Glasgow this week. Professor Buckle was unable to attend the presentation. Two other Distinguished Service Awards were presented in Birmingham in May.

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