November 26, 2020

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Finalists announced for SHP’s Trailblazer in COVID-19 Response Award

The SHP Awards judging panel has selected seven finalists for SHP’s Trailblazer in COVID-19 Response Award.

SHP Awards TrailblazerNew for 2020, SHP Trailblazer Awards celebrate those who are going above and beyond to make a positive difference, the real pioneers of health and safety.

Trailblazer in COVID-19 Response recognises individuals who have responded to COVID-19 in the most effective or inspiring way. This could be on the frontline, in the community or in the workplace.

SHP Trailblazer Awards is brought to you as part of the wider SHP Awards, in collaboration with the HSE and IATP.

The winners will be announced in mid-December.





The finalists are:

Mark Ariyanayagam, Biological Safety Adv / HS Manager, Queen Mary University of London

Mark AriyanayagamRight at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in the UK, there was an urgent need for NHS Trusts and universities to rapidly adapt in order to provide diagnostics, basic scientific and medical research to enable the national and global fightback against the virus SARS-CoV-2 and the disease COVID-19.

Critical to this was rapidly assuring the required bio safety standards and risk controls were in place for intended essential laboratory work, ensuring suitable risk assessments and code of practice protocols were in place. This was spearheaded by Mark and was completed within two months to enable seven research groups to start work and produce rapid results enabling the fightback against the virus and disease.

Judges were impressed by Mark’s “very important work” in a “difficult high-risk area”, and how Mark was key in drafting a number of safe working protocols using primary sources of information and implemented by research groups at Queen Mary, with tailored online delivered training sessions.

Michael Byrne, Group Health and Safety Manager, News Corp UK and Ireland Ltd

Michael ByrneAt News Corp, Micheal is leading a program of building governance and cultural change across a diverse risk portfolio including production, events, and radio broadcast.

Michael impressed judges by creating an intranet site, linked to Google Analytics, which identified where staff were navigating to so the content could be improved based on viewing preference. The site was complemented with a poster campaign and both continued to be improved and updated throughout the crisis.

It was also noted how Michael significantly stepped up his interaction with every part of the business to understand their challenges in returning to normal and assisted them with preparation, response and recovery from the impacts of the virus. Judges described Michael as a “proactive team player who gets everyone involved” and highlighted how, when business conferences restarted in Northern Ireland for a brief period in early October, he helped plan an event that raised over £500k in revenue.

Joel Crompton, HSEQ Manager, ISS Facility Services UK

Joel CromptonJoel works as HSEQ Manager for ISS Facility Services – Key Account 2 comprising a large and diverse business within the Healthcare, Education, Government Services and Business & Industry sectors. Joel’s nomination described him as instrumental in delivering health and safety practices during first and subsequent waves, with ever-changing HSE guidance published to keep the front line workforce safe.

What stood out for the judges, was him being a driving force in setting up the NHS Nightingale Hospital London — a 4,000-bed field hospital in London’s ExCeL, for which ISS mobilsed facilities management services in just nine days. Joel was chosen as the Health and Safety lead for his expertise, personal skills and a positive can-do attitude. And in this short time, Joel developed comprehensive Safe Systems of Work for office staff, ward hostesses, porters and clinical/non-clinical cleaners.

Judges also saw “pride and recognition” from his nomination and highlighted his “huge workload” and praised him for going above and beyond his day job. Joel’s work rate and ethic during the pandemic has ensured that thousands of individuals have had the most up-to-date information to implement proportionate controls in the most time efficient manner. Not only has his information helped his business, but he was key to additional companies opening their doors in support NHS Nightingale London, including local hotels to house NHS staff.

Mark Delo, CEO, Riskex Ltd

Mark DeloAs one of the world’s first cloud-based safety software providers, AssessNET’s Chief Architect, Mark recognised in February 2020 that the unfolding COVID-19 situation in Asia was one that would present huge health and safety challenges. Based on over 30 years’ experience of health and safety management, he knew the key is to control the risk at source. His idea was to develop a cloud-based tool to gather and analyse information about people to manage COVID-19, identifying who was safe and who posed a risk.

The first development, “Fit2Work”, was launched in April to clients, including a care service provider with over 4,000 carers working throughout the lockdown. What made Mark’s nomination stand out to the judges, was how he applied for sponsorship so that he could provide Fit2Work to any UK business free of charge, helping many business manage the threat of COVID-19.

Doug Harris, H&S Advisor, Stride Safety

Doug HarrisDuring the pandemic, Doug was aware that small businesses were struggling to survive without having to unravel the complex and changing guidance and law around returning to work in unprecedented circumstances of health and hygiene. Judges were impressed how he “recognizing the need and unselfishly created benefit to the wider community” by providing advice, risk assessments and staff rules resources free of charge to anyone who needed it via LinkedIn and Facebook.

Judges highlighted his desire to “do the right thing” and by reaching out and helping via social media he was able to have a global reach for his services.

Alison Hill, Care Manager, Glamis Hall for All

Alison HallGlamis Hall is home to a day centre for vulnerable and isolated elderly people. Judges were impressed by Alison’s “recognisable effort” in being instrumental in completing in-depth planning for the re-opening of the centre in August, when shielding ended and clients (who are all in the clinically vulnerable group) were able to leave their homes for the first time since late March.

Extensive signage was installed and the home implemented a one-way system, vehicle and building entry protocols, socially distanced seating (most people are from different households) and lunchtime arrangements and a one-in, one-out toilet procedure including cleaning of all touch points after each use. Alison’s work was complimented by the few visitors they allowed into the premises on the thoroughness of her procedures and the team’s adherence to them.

Lawrence Jones, Head of Occupational Health & Safety, Bentley Motors Ltd

Lawrence JonesIn response to the pandemic Lawrence was hands-on in leading and implementing over 250 health & safety measures to ensure a factory of 4,000 plus could reopen safely, described by judges as a “mammoth task”. A suite of robust risk assessments were carried out across the vast site to ensure workers could return to a ‘haven’ being the first motor manufacturer to reopen after national lockdown.

The panel highlighted how Lawrence’s measures were shared across not just the motor industry but also military services, with Bentley Motors Ltd seen as a benchmark in its approach to manufacturing workplace safety.

They were also impressed how Lawrence instigated both COVID-19 PCR Antigen and Antibody proactive testing programs, being mindful to utilize services that would not compromise the NHS. Lawrence sought partnership with Imperial College London and PHE England to share the findings from testing results contributing to National Strategies in the fight against COVID-19.

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