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September 1, 2021

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SHP most influential Awards

The most influential people in health and safety

Dr Mavis Nye was named as 2021’s Most Influential individual, for her work as a campaigner, supporting and raising awareness of the dangers of asbestos exposure and supporting those who are diagnosed with Mesothelioma.

The SHP Most Influential Awards recognise the people who have the biggest, positive impact on health and safety in the UK, making a difference not just to their own organisation but to the wider profession or society. Each year SHP publishes an unranked list of the most influential individuals, as well as one stand-out winner.

Most Influential is brought to you as part of the wider SHP Awards, in collaboration with Shirley Parsons, HSEQ talent experts. The awards are completely free to enter and winners are decided by a panel of independent judges and by public vote.

SHP Awards - Most Influential FeatureMost Influential Individual

SHP readers were invited to nominate who they feel is the Most Influential Individual in health & safety for 2021. Then the SHP Awards judging panel reviewed all nominations and SHP published a list of finalists. Making it onto the list is an achievement in itself.

Then, SHP readers were asked to vote for the one person on the list who they feel has made the biggest impact and deserved to be crowned the Most Influential Individual of the year.

Meet past winners

Mavis Nye2021 – Dr Mavis Nye lives with Mesothelioma every day of her life, having been diagnosed a few years ago, and spends her life campaigning for asbestos awareness and removal.

She has been described as a ‘tour de force, and an absolute dynamo for Asbestos Awareness’.

Asbestos is one of the largest causes of occupational death in the UK and Mavis has been the first person to galvanise all sides of the debate. From a standing start and with no formal training in the field, she has risen to be a touchstone for the victims across the globe.

Read more about why Dr Mavis Nye won, here.
See the other people shortlisted for Most Influential 2021, here.


Hilda Palmer SHP Most Influential Award 20202020 – Hilda Palmer, campaigner and facilitator of Families Against Corporate Killers, supplier of International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) resources. Hilda supports families who find themselves on the wrong side of health and safety failures to access justice and get answers as to why their loved ones were killed at work. She is a tireless campaigner for workers’ health and safety, highlighting the failures of employers, ineffective enforcement, continuing excessive deregulation, toxic workplaces, workplace stress and many other health and safety issues that are causing injury, ill-health, disease and deaths at work.

She has played a key role working with trade unions to challenge government and regulators, fighting for people’s rights.

Read more about why Hilda Palmer won here.
See the other people shortlisted for Most Influential 2020, here.

2020 Most Influential Team – Arco

The Arco team was chosen as the winner from a list of six finalists for SHP’s Most Influential Team Award, by the SHP Awards judging panel. Arco’s NDC2 became operational on 10 February 2020. On 11 March the World Health Organisation declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic and a week later the UK went into lockdown. PPE was in short supply and while the government looked to solve the stock shortage – the Arco team, with critical worker status, got to work fast, ensuring the National Distribution Centre was fully operational and, importantly, that it was COVID-secure.

Read more about why Arco won here.

Karl Simons most influential2019 – Karl Simons, who at the time was Chief Health, Safety and Security Director at Thames Water. Readers voted Karl Simons Most Influential for many reasons, but most of all for: his work to challenge stigma around mental ill health; embracing technology innovation; positively influencing and supporting others; and shaping the future of the profession. Voters described Karl as ‘an inspiration’.

Read more about why Karl Simons won here.
See the other people shortlisted for Most Influential 2019 here

2018 – Louise Taggart, Public Speaker, Campaigner and Founder of ‘Michael’s Story’. Louise won the award for tirelessly sharing the story of her younger brother, and his preventable fatality at work, in order to prevent more lives being lost. Voters described the huge impact she had on them, making them feel empowered and inspired. One voter said: “She has now proactively saved hundreds of lives since her brother’s passing – that is a certainty.”

Read more about why Louise Taggart won here
See the other people shortlisted for Most Influential 2018 here

EHS 20182017 – John Green, who was Director of HSE at Laing O’Rourke at the time. Voters made John Green their winner for his proactively promoting his ‘Safety Differently’ message, questioning a climate of paperwork, double-checking everything and ‘compliance’ that has little real impact. John was described as a tireless campaigner for improving the practice and reputation of health and safety in the UK.

Read more about why John Green won and see the full 2017 shortlist here

Click here to view all of the SHP Awards categories.

Meet the judges

The judges for 2021 are made up of a mix of people from across multiple sectors and include previous SHP Award winners:

    • Louise Adamson, Workplace Safety Speaker, Michael’s Story. 2018 SHP Most Influential winner;
    • Andrew Berrie, Mental Health at Work – National Lead, Mind
    • Simon Bown, HSQE Director, KeolisAmey Docklands;
    • Rachel Butler, Head of Health, Safety and Risk, Bruntwood. 2019 SHP Rising Star finalist;
    • David Cant, CFIOSH, Director, Veritas Consulting;
    • Dr Dominic Cooper, CEO, B-Safe Management Solutions;
    • Lucilla Cummings, HSE Improvement Specialist, Travis Perkins PLC. 2020 Rising Star UK winner;
    • Helen Davitt, Global H&S Lead, Barclays;
    • Aoife Devaney, H&S Advisor, St George PLC. 2019 Rising Star finalist;
    • Chris Edwards, Group Director, Informa Markets;
    • Tim Fowler, Senior HSE Consultant, Shirley Parsons Project Services;
    • Ruth Gallacher, Head of Global Health, Safety & Environment, A.P. Moller – Maersk;
    • Kevin Gilroy, Group EHS Manager, Emtelle;
    • John Green, Vice President Global HSE, SNC-Lavalin. 2017 SHP Most Influential winner;
    • Ian Hart, Editor, SHP;
    • Robert Jukes, Health, Safety, Environment and Quality Manager, Northwood Hygiene Products Ltd. 2019 SHP Rising Star UK winner and 2019 SHP Rising Star Manufacturing winner;
    • Anna Keen, Founding Director, Acre Frameworks;
    • John Kersey, Health & Safety Manager – People & Culture, ISS;
    • Faye McGuiness, Director of Programmes, Education Support.
    • Jyssica Murphy, Divisional Health, Safety & Environmental Manager for Redrow Homes. 2018 Rising Star UK winner;
    • Hilda Palmer, Safety campaigner, Hazards Campaign. 2020 SHP Most Influential winner;
    • Shona Paterson, Director of Talent Consultancy at Shirley Parsons;
    • James Pomeroy, Director | Global Health and Safety Leader at Arup;
    • Jimmy Quinn, Senior Health and Safety Manager, Multiplex. IOSH Immediate Past President;
    • Professor Dr Andrew Sharman, Managing Partner, RMS.
    • Malcolm Staves, Corporate Health & Safety Director, L’Oreal;
    • Jamie Sutherland-Pownall, HSEP Head, UK Ministry of Defence. 2017 SHP Rising Star UK winner;
    • Liam Tiddy, Head of Executive Search, Shirley Parsons;
    • Sam Watts, EHS Specialist, Pepsico. 2020 SHP Rising Star in Manufacturing.


Shirley ParsonsSHP collaborated with HSEQ talent experts, Shirley Parsons, in 2021.

Commenting on the awards, Shirley Parsons CMIOSH, Founder & CEO said: “Our profession continuously strives to make the world a healthier, safer and more sustainable place. We know there are so many fantastic initiatives, ideas and achievements out there, all driven by some truly talented individuals – we’re thrilled to be working with SHP to recognise and celebrate the best of these.”

Coinciding with this year’s SHP Awards, is the launch of Shirley Parsons’ new HSEQ talent tool. RoTI is a unique tool that enables employers to benchmark the “best in class” talent within HSEQ. RoTI helps employers structure career paths for current and new HSEQ employees to reach their full potential, maximising the organisation’s return on talent investment.

Shirley Parsons added: “Personality profiling has been around for many years. Through the RoTI tool, we want to give HSEQ professionals a practical and accurate tool that’s fit for purpose.”

As well as their RoTI tool, Shirley Parsons has launched a projects division, providing consultancy and project support within HSEQ. One of the Consultants for Shirley Parsons Project Services, Tim Fowler, is bringing his expertise this year’s SHP Awards judging panel.

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