December 10, 2020

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Lucilla Cummings wins SHP’s Rising Star UK Award

Travis Perkins PLC HSE Improvement Specialist, Lucilla Cummings, has been named as the winner of the SHP Award for Rising Star UK, while Adam Clarke, Occupational Hygiene Technician, Health and Safety Executive was recognised as ‘highly commended’ in this category.

Lucilla Cummings AwardThe SHP Rising Star Awards celebrate young, high-performing health and safety professionals. Some of the brightest, most passionate young stars of the profession.

Rising Star UK recognises young health & safety professionals, across all sectors, going above and beyond to improve occupational health, safety and/or workplace wellbeing in the UK.

Lucilla Cummings, Travis Perkins PLC HSE Improvement Specialist, was selected as the winner of SHP’s Rising Star UK Award from a list of 11 finalists, by the SHP Awards judging panel.

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

Judges were impressed how, throughout her Graduate programme, Lucilla showed a passion for change, working and leading multiple projects, one of which was paramount in ensuring the safety of colleagues in the external sales force in relation to the dangers they face whilst visiting customers sites and travelling on the road. The panel also highlighted how Lucilla engaged senior sales leaders in this project by highlighting and focussing business attention on the risks, continually challenging their thoughts and influencing the output of the project.

Rapid progression

Judges noted how Lucilla has made “rapid progression” through the business, taking learnings from her previous roles, she built and introduced a new Safety Management System at Toolstation, one of Britain’s fastest growing suppliers to the trade with over 483 branches across the UK. Lucilla achieved a significant amount in her time in Toolstation, including a 10% improvement in Accident Frequency Rate YOY and a 54% improvement in Severity Rate.

Simon Robinson, Toolstation Retail Director, said: “Lucilla was instrumental in helping us refocus our safety journey by putting our key risks front of mind of myself and the wider leadership team and the management and engagement with safety less daunting for our frontline colleagues.”

Noticing a gap in industry guidance across the Builders Merchants sector on load security for multi drop vehicles, where multiple different types of materials add a complex safety issue, Lucilla gathered feedback from colleagues on the risk that this can pose. She then looked at what industry guidance was available and how the firm could apply this to the business. This led her to create the Travis Perkins Load Security Principles, the work Lucilla did in understanding and converting this guidance for the business meant that it could be understood and practically applied by drivers and other colleagues.

Lucilla put together a listening group of drivers from across the business to gain insight into their experience and knowledge to develop the training materials available, this meant the business could make a significant step change in the quality of load security training it could provide to drivers. This training has now been delivered to 4,270 colleagues across 603 branches.

Kieran Griffin, Travis Perkins Managing Director, said: “This year has been like no other, and we are working and living in strange times under strange circumstances. I have been hugely impressed by the support from Lucilla and the delivery of our Load Security Principles into the business during these times. The positive effect of that work is widely recognisable across our branch network and colleagues, as we see safer and more secure loads leaving our branches and on the roads across the UK everyday.”

Shape industry guidance

Lucilla is working with the Health and Safety Laboratory (HSL) to take her learnings on load security and the principles she has introduced into the business into further testing, this could potentially shape industry guidance moving forward. Lucilla has delivered this programme at a time of great uncertainty with the coronavirus pandemic and has navigated through the additional safety measures the group has put in place as a result.

The panel also noted that, outside of Lucilla’s day to day role, she is active in the firm’s diversity and inclusion agenda. She has led the BAME agenda in her area of the business, challenging the CEO to think differently on how to approach this. As a result, the business has set up a diversity and inclusion working group led by our group HR director to tackle a number of key areas. She also takes a lead role in the Mental Health and Wellbeing group by leading a number of activities and producing materials to support line managers in these conversations.

On hearing the news, Lucilla told SHP: “I am incredibly pleased to have won the ‘SHP Rising Star UK’ 2020 award. To have been nominated for this award was really exciting and to have actually won has been so overwhelming. I am blown away by the messages I have received from the safety community. I extend my congratulations to all of the other safety professionals who were finalists.

“I would like to thank everyone who has supported me in my career journey so far, especially my colleagues in the safety team at Travis Perkins. To work in an industry-leading business with the support of seniors leaders allows me and the rest of the safety team to continually drive the safety agenda.

“For me, winning this award has shown that we as safety professionals are ready and willing to embrace change and push forward new exciting developments. Having safety at the top of the business agenda means we can steer the way for new positive developments in the field.

“My priority will always be to ensure that we can send everyone home safe and well, every single day.

“Thank you to SHP for this opportunity and for choosing me as your winner. I am extremely grateful to have won this award and look forward to what’s to come in the future.”

Karl Simons, Chief Health, Safety & Wellbeing Officer at Thames Water, SHP’s Most Influential person in health & Safety for 2019 and judge on the 2020 SHP Awards described Lucilla’s journey as “incredible” and said that her nomination “really captured the spirit of what the judges are looking for.”

“Her commitment, enthusiasm and passion came though, not only in what was said in the submission, but also what others within her organisation have said about her.”

Click here to view all SHP Awards winners for 2020.

Safety & Health Podcast

Hear SHP’s interview with Lucilla and listen to some of her interesting and innovative safety ideas and how she implemented them in her business.

Subscribe and tune in the Safety & Health Podcast to discover the latest issues facing the health and safety profession, and stay on-top of the developments affecting your role, from working at height, lone working and common workplace hazards, to safety culture, behaviours, occupational health and mental health and wellbeing.

Highly commended – Adam Clarke, Occupational Hygiene Technician, HSE

Adam ClarkeIn this category, the judging panel also felt it necessary to recognise, Adam Clarke, Occupational Hygiene Technician, Health and Safety Executive, as highly commended.

Adam is responsible for performing occupational hygiene surveys, measuring workers exposures to health hazards and assessing the effectiveness of the control measures in place. This research feeds into larger projects and acts as part of the evidence base HSE use to update guidance and inform policy decisions. He has also been involved in various commercial projects, incident investigations and most recently, supporting the NHS in relation to COVID-19 response.

Adam was chosen to be the Technical Consultant from HSE who inputted into the NHS England and Improvements Reuse Cell pilot projects for the decontamination and reuse of disposable RPE. This work had never been attempted in the UK before and was part of three-pronged DHSC approach to securing a secure and sustainable supply of RPE for frontline healthcare workers.

Judges were impressed how Adam was unphased, despite this work taking him out of his comfort zone and challenging him, as it involved fairly high-level engagement across the NHS and work with other Government departments (e.g. PHE decontamination experts) and decontamination system manufacturers.

It was also highlighted by the panel how Adam was able influence others and stand his ground when he needed to ensure that safety was never compromised. Given the scale of world-wide demand for COVID PPE and associated shortages, Adam’s contribution to safety has to be considered “outstanding” as his work has a direct impact on the healthcare workers, and an indirect impact on their patients.

On hearing the news, Adam told SHP: “I feel very honoured that the Occupational Hygiene role I play within HSE is worthy of this kind of recognition by SHP.”

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