Success for local groups that strive to make workplaces safer

Awards have been presented to 18 voluntary groups that aim to make workplaces in their local areas safer and healthier.

The annual Alan Butler Awards recognise the achievements of groups which form the Safety Groups UK movement.  Around 70 groups form the nationwide network and they consist of safety and health professionals from businesses and organisations who give up their time free-of-charge to offer practical help and advice to other employers in their area, particularly small firms.

Most of the awards were presented by Kerry Ross, chairman of Safety Groups UK, at a luncheon at the House of Lords last week. The winners, who received awards in recognition of work carried out during 2011, were:

  • Gold award and Alan Butler Overall Winner: Sheffield Occupational Health and Safety Association
  • Other gold awards: Charities Safety Group; North Staffs Health and Safety Group; Swansea and West Wales Occupational Safety Group; and, Wiltshire Occupational Safety and Health Association
  • Silver awards: Birmingham Health, Safety and Environment Association; Harrogate and District Safety Forum; Isle of Wight Health and Safety Group; Kent Health and Safety Group; Lea and Ouse Valley Safety Association; Manchester Occupational Health and Safety Group; North Lincs Health and Safety Group; and, North West Wales Occupational Health and Safety Group
  • Bronze awards: East Anglia Construction Safety Group; Leicestershire Occupational Safety and Health Association; Nottinghamshire Occupational Safety and Health Association; South Cumbria Occupational Health and Safety Group; and, Thames Valley Health and Safety Group.

The judging process considered: how groups communicated with members, other health and safety organisations and the wider community; which topics and speakers were included in groups’ annual programmes or seminars; how groups supported the Health and Safety Executive and its strategy; how groups encouraged retention and recruitment of members; and, what single achievement each group was most proud of during 2011.

The ceremony also featured the presentation of the Maurice Adamson Award in recognition of an outstanding individual commitment to safety groups. This special award was presented to Gordon Hicks MBE, of London Health and Safety Group, by Ann Jones, who was the award’s inaugural winner last year.

Roger Bibbings, occupational safety adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) and secretary of Safety Groups UK, said: “Once again, it is an absolute pleasure to offer congratulations to the hardworking volunteers in the Safety Groups UK network. Group members work tirelessly to help others get to grips in a practical way with the essentials of safety and health management, raising awareness of risks to health as well as safety and signposting sources of help and advice. We wish them continued success and urge even more groups to enter the awards next year.”

The Alan Butler Awards have been sponsored by BT for 16 years.

RoSPA provides the secretariat for Safety Groups UK and hosts its website -

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