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December 11, 2020

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SHP's Most Influential

SHP’s Most Influential figures in health & safety named for 2020

Hilda Palmer, Facilitator of Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK), has been named as the Most Influential Individual in health & safety. She tops the list of the 25 of the most influential people in health & safety in 2020, as voted for by SHP readers. Here we highlight the achievements that have led to these people making the list, including comments from the public vote.

SHP Awards Most Influential

SHP Most Influential is brought to you as part of the wider SHP Awards, in collaboration with the HSE and IATP, and recognises those who are successfully creating sound health and safety cultures in their organisations, or the profession at large.

The list below was put together from public nominations and then put to public vote. It celebrates people who are inspiring, engaging and have been driving change in occupational health and safety in the UK over the last 12 months, especially in relation to tackling the COVID-19 pandemic.

Hilda Palmer, Facilitator, Families Against Corporate Killers (FACK) voted the Most Influential

This year, we received an overwhelming amount of votes and Hilda Palmer came out on top. Hilda is a campaigner and facilitator of Families Against Corporate Killers, which supplies International Workers’ Memorial Day (IWMD) resources. During the pandemic the Hazards Campaign has put on a series of virtual calls, featuring speakers including trade union health and safety officers, reps and activists, to discuss how lockdown can be brought to an end using a Zero-COVID strategy and providing guidance on how to keep people safe at work in COVID-safe workplaces.

Previous winners include Karl Simons, in 2019, Louise Taggart, in 2018 and John Green, in 2017.

Click here for more on Hilda’s success, why she won and read comments from voters.

Hilda Palmer


The rest of the top 25, listed alphabetically, voted for by SHP readers is:

Sarah Albon, Chief Executive, HSE

Sarah AlbonSarah began her role as Chief Executive of the Health and Safety Executive in September 2019. During the pandemic Sarah played a crucial role in working with government in order to make sure businesses were COVID-secure. She appeared on stage at Downing Street during one of the daily news briefings during the first lockdown to explain and face questions on how the HSE was going to enforce the guidelines.

“Her work and that of the HSE through the most trying and testing times, has to be applauded by all HSE Professionals.”

“The HSE has been key in ensuring our workplaces remain safe for colleagues to work. The COVID-Secure system helps have confidence in the employer’s provision of safe workplaces.”

Jason Anker MBE, Motivational Health, Safety, Wellbeing and Resilience Speaker and Director, Anker & Marsh

Jason AnkerJason has pivoted to offering virtual health, safety and wellbeing motivational talks during the pandemic, opening up his inspirational story to a global audience. Jason demonstrates that it is not about the fall, but about the bounce back and is genuine and honest with his approach.

“An absolute inspiration, Jason’s story was a contributing factor in what inspired me to become a safety practitioner. A great example of determination and how you can turn an awful thing into something to help so many with the work he does through proud2bsafe.”

“Jason’s journey is an incredible one, for those who have heard his talks it brings reality back home and creates a sense of urgency to be more mindful about our decisions within health and safety in everyday life as well as in work.”                 

“He has inspired me and my team to work safely and put that as the most important before other things such as deadlines. How he sits and shares what he does is amazing, and I don’t know how he does it.”

“Inspiring storyteller.”

Laura Aucott, Brand Leader, HSE Recruitment Network

Laura Aucott HSE RecruitmentLaura has displayed personal and supportive resilience during the pandemic. Her support has enabled health & safety professionals to move onwards, upwards and to grow in their roles. She has remained positive throughout, sharing roles when she can by doing live videos and making people aware that there are jobs still available. Laura has also been actively engaging with network groups across the UK and further afield delivering her sessions on ‘Building your personal brand’.

“Laura is tireless in her work, providing career insight and support across all industry sectors.”

“Laura’s energy and enthusiasm promoting both the profession and individual HSE practitioners can only been seen a huge positive for the sector, raising the profile of health and safety, which hopefully will lead to more awareness and less incidents in the workplace.”

“Laura has worked tirelessly to promote health and safety and encourage sharing of best practice through events, roundtables and seminars.”

“Enthusiasm and hard work. Genuine drive and passion.”

Heather Beach, Founder, Healthy Work Company

Heather BeachHeather set up the Healthy Working Facebook group in April, 2020 which has been a source of support for so many over the pandemic months. She opened up a space where people have made new connections and can open up about how they’re doing, as well as share tips and insights. In May the Healthy Work Company surveyed over 1,000 people about the impact lockdown was having on people’s mental health. She continues to train businesses, appear on webinars and writes articles to help educate people on supporting employee mental health, particularly during the pandemic.

“Simply put, Heather is 110% committed to every project she works, and is a consummate professional.”

“Heather IS health and safety. You don’t go anywhere in the industry and not hear her name. She’s moved a lot of people for the better.”

“My first experience of Heather was on a webinar. She was such an inspirational speaker, totally dedicated to helping individuals and she was willing to share her resources. I immediately joined her Facebook group, which has been a source of information, collaboration and Heather continues to share her knowledge and the fabulous infographics. The openness and willingness to share knowledge and information is amazing and refreshing.”

John Brett MBA, Director of Resident Safety at London Borough of Camden

John BrettJohn is a pioneer in fire and building safety, partnering with Home Office & MHCLG to help shape and pilot both of the new Bills that will change the legislative regime across the UK. He’s an early adopter and Policy Design Trialist with MHCLG, Building Safety Case developer in conjunction with HSE, and new Shadow Regulator, personally selected for Sir Ken Knight’s team designing BS8644 on fire safety data. He has presented building safety work and opinion to Dame Judith Hackitt’s ISSG and to Lord Greenhalgh. He is a regular speaker and influencer at national events.

“He has been working on probably the biggest health & safety and fire safety reform in the UK for decades, this deserves some recognition for the influence in putting resident safety first.”               

“For the excellent resident safety communications work that has taken place collaboratively across the housing, property, communications and resident safety teams.”

“John has been involved at Camden in Resident Safety and driving forward new building safety and fire safety standards to protect Camden residents in their homes. This is so important in light of the Grenfell tragedy and nothing is more important than health and safety for people in their homes.”

“He is a committed and consummate professional who is happy to go the extra distance to ensure good practice.”

“John is pioneering work in resident engagement and is at the forefront of the drive to prevent another Grenfell. His work will save lives.”

Mark Cardnell, Health, Safety and Wellbeing Management Consultant

Mark CardnellDuring the pandemic, Mark has provided information and support to many thousands of personnel, not only across central government but within local healthcare establishments and at Morden College palliative care home, displaying care and support for people with a life-limiting illness. Mark has found time to mentor others and share information and best practice and will shortly be joining the Department of Health and Social Care to bring further expertise to the team for the COVID-19 testing program.

“His dedication and commitment to the public and the wider community have been exemplary in some of the most difficult times this country has seen. His work within the care homes has ensured the survival of many of our older generation and his work across government is seen by many as a must for this country.”

“Mark has been involved in some significant HSE projects and has been paramount to the success of key UK projects.”

Dr Shaun Davis, Global Director of Compliance and Sustainability (Compliance, Security, Safety, Health, Environment), Royal Mail

Shaun Davis

With Royal Mail employees considered as key workers during the pandemic, Shaun’s teams have played a key role in ensuring delivery services can keep operating safely. Shaun has been at the forefront of safety, health and environment matters for a number of years and also is a champion of mental health. He has published a very noteworthy book on the subject also.

“Shaun has the most amazing passion to make a difference on health and wellbeing. His determination to keep the UK’s postal employees safe during COVID has been an inspiration to see.”

“Shaun and his teams remain the focused point of guidance for 150,000 key workers, through what has been the most challenging year. Without gaining the confidence of this wider audience the UK Mail infrastructure could have been impacted. But more than that, he is an avid champion of improving mental health, so not only ensuring practical guidance and vigour, but understanding and supporting those who are impacted in other ways.”

Sonni Gopal, Risk Safety Consultant, Red Risks

Sonni GopalSonni has brought together many health & safety professionals in the UK and on a global level through a series of live events and webinars. He has also hosted numerous high-profile guests on his show, Red Risks, discussing mainstream topics related health and wellbeing, process and workplace safety. Sonni freely provides access to these resources via his YouTube channel and links to key resources. More recently, Sonni’s twice-weekly live streaming events have attracted audiences from the UK and across the world. Built on the pillars of “Connect-Share-Learn”, the live stream events strongly encourage and promote diversity and inclusion.

“Sonni’s live events this year have raised important questions in the field of health & safety, as well as providing a community for professionals to engage and debate.”

“Sonni demonstrated excellent leadership skills during the pandemic by setting up his live streams and webinars. He’s hosted some inspirational guests and provided the HSE community globally with excellent resources and tools. He’s going above and beyond to serve the HSE community.”

Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair, Make UK, The Manufacturing Organisation and leader of the ISSG

Judith HackittAfter the ISSG (Industry Safety Steering Group) released its latest report ‘scrutinising progress towards change Post-Grenfell’, Dame Judith reiterated the need for improved culture change and competency in the construction sector. She spoke about the need to explore ways to recognise and accredit those ‘who are leading the industry in the right direction’. Dame Judith’s 2018 report, ‘Building a Safer Future’ continues to help shape building and fire safety in the UK.

“She tells it like it is! First person to holistically look at safety in social housing and unapologetically shines a light on terrible practices and cultures but always from an informed and educated position.”

“She is using her knowledge strength and skill to drive a sea change in fire safety and construction which is unmatched in our time.”

“A driving force for a shift in culture and greater responsibility and accountability across the supply chain, management and construction delivery sectors.”

“Continues to push the message of fire safety in her role as the lead author on the outcomes of Grenfell and recommendations to improve fire safety in the building and construction sectors.”

Keith Hole, Director, TSM UK Consulting

Keith HoleKeith is an ambassador for IOSH’s award-winning, global campaign No Time to Lose (NTTL), and has moderated webinars and panel discussions facilitating people to come together and network and spreading positive messages all around the globe, encouraging people to make a change, improve and help others to do the same.

“Passionate advocate for health and safety that was very influential in my own thinking.”

“Keith is passionate about getting people home safely. Providing above and beyond support, knowledge and quick response times with queries. He is engaging and inspiring, always looking at ways to develop himself and keep himself up-to-date and will always help you achieve your aims whilst keeping everyone safe.”

“His international safety knowledge has assisted greatly in working with him.”

Louise Hosking, Director, Hosking Associates Ltd. IOSH President-Elect

louise hoskingLouise has mentored and coached OSH professionals to step up and take new opportunities during 2020. As IOSH Vice President, she represented IOSH on webinars and at branch meetings, which were shared globally and beyond IOSH membership. She has shared motivational tips, health, safety and wellbeing insights and learnings on social media via #FridayFeeling and #ThoughtfulThursday posts and articles in IOSH Magazine. Louise is a big advocate for equality, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and has provided free COVID-risk management advice to SMEs and personnel. In October, she was appointed as IOSH President-Elect.

“Louise inspires people and organisations to be the best they can be.”

“In the year where everyone is talking about risk assessment, Louise has been sharing her expert knowledge on workplace risk management by providing free health and safety support to local businesses via online sessions. Day-to-day Louise continues to help organisations of all sizes achieve improved workplace safety and health with her positive action-led approach. Throughout the current pandemic Louise has been there to provide ongoing support for clients, colleagues, and local SMEs as she works tirelessly to keep people healthy and businesses operating safely.”

“Louise has worked astonishingly hard to bring health and safety to the forefront of people minds, and becoming president-Elect of IOSH at a time of global crisis will only serve to heighten the public understanding of health and safety and its personal and professional impacts.”

“Louise has worked tirelessly supporting companies throughout the pandemic.”

Gill Kernick, Master Consultant, JMJ Associates

Gill KernickGill is a consultant, specialising in safety leadership and culture and she has been a high-profile voice on the subject of the Grenfell Tower fire. The outputs of phase 1 of the Grenfell Inquiry are already reshaping how we prepare for, respond to and manage emergencies. The outputs of phase 2 are expected to be even more profound. Gill has been pivotal in promoting the need for an overhaul of how safety-critical products are tested and specified, and the need to change the nature of safety within construction.

“Gill’s relentless pursuit of influencing regulation and improving life safety systems within residential and commercial construction is greatly aiding to reduce the potential loss of life and injury. Gill’s dedication to helping ensure that the Grenfell residential structure fire example will never again repeat is critical, important work in preventing future loss of life.”        

“Gill is an advocate for the people and believes in ‘making the impossible, possible’. She is an advocate driven by values and a leader for these values.”               

“Gill’s extraordinary work with the Grenfell community has led to positive industry change. Gill had successfully broadened HSE into spaces that are just too difficult for most, including deep rooted cultural challenges.”

Thomas Martin, Chairman, Arco

Thomas MartinThomas has led a public affairs campaign to generate all-party political discussion on safety issues across UK business sectors. Throughout 2020, Thomas has focused on the risks of non-compliant PPE, demanding the government takes stronger action to stop this. He’s had regular contact and briefings with Michael Kearny at the OPSS, written to Paul Scully at BEIS on the relaxation of PPE regulations and conformity post-Brexit, and developed a Position Paper on Arco’s experience and learnings from the government’s response to COVID-19. All confirm his commitment to preserving the UK’s safety credentials.

“Thomas has long held a torch for properly regulated PPE, better quality of factories and higher standards across the H&S industry.”

“Thomas continues to work tirelessly to keep health and safety high on everyone agenda. Throughout the year he has lobbied MP’s across all parties to stop non-compliant PPE reaching the marketplace, both during this pandemic and in the future post Brexit.”

“I am totally inspired by Thomas’ commitment and passion towards the quality and compliance of PPE and the health and safety of all employees in the UK and beyond. His passion, knowledge and experience are very real and have always been there with him but that commitment and passion are now stronger than ever and evident in his actions this year in a tireless attempt to ensure the UK is kept safe from substandard, non-compliant PPE.”

Dr Karen McDonnell CFIOSH, OHS Policy Adviser, RoSPA

Karen influences and motivates others to think about a ‘whole person whole life’ approach to accident prevention. This year, as many businesses returned to work, she stressed the importance of remembering all the risks inherent in construction amidst all the focus on making sure workplaces were COVID-secure. She has also brought attention to driver safety, supporting increased sentences for dangerous driving. Karen is Head of RoSPA Scotland and an IOSH Past President.

“Her whole person approach is important and often forgotten. As an advanced driver I am impressed by her work on road safety and drivers. This too is an area that is often forgotten by businesses.  Karen brings it to the fore.”

“Karen’s approach to thinking through issues and coming to successful outcomes is second to none.”

“Karen is a hard-working, passionate safety professional who engages with the safety community at all levels, at every opportunity and is not only influential she is very inspiring.”

“The impact Dr Karen has in the world of health and safety is and has been immense, not just in 2020 but her whole career.”

Faye McGuinness, Director of Programmes, Education Support (formerly Head of Workplace Wellbeing Programmes at Mind)

Faye McGuinnessFaye has contributed to Mind’s vision of promoting and protecting good mental health for all by developing, implementing and overseeing strategies, including playing a key role in Mind’s partnership with the Workplace Wellbeing Show. She led on the delivery of recommendations from the Thriving at Work review to ensure it continues to contribute positively to workplace. She has also managed the Blue Light Programme – a £7m innovative programme to support the emergency services staff with their mental health – and has spoken on a series of webinars and written articles to further spread awareness of the positive work Mind is doing.

“During Faye’s time at Mind over the last five years or so, she has had an amazing impact on mental health in the workplace.”

“Faye doesn’t just work in the mental health field; she lives and breathes it! She influences others through her own experiences, her passion and her willingness to create change.”

“Faye has worked relentlessly to improve the lives, mental health and wellbeing of the UK’s workforce and associated networks by driving for policy and legislation change and raising awareness of the importance of supporting the population’s mental health, from government down. Through multinationals, SME employers, as well as supporting the next generation of healthy minds in our workplaces.”

“She continues to inspire me. A woman and leader in the sector who is outspoken on social media about Mind’s work, mental health and works tirelessly tor Mind’s mission, helping support employers across the UK and advocating workplace wellbeing – and she does so with passion and skill.”

“Faye has an unwavering tenacity in her commitment to improving workplace mental health knowledge and understanding. Engaging and supporting the big picture conversation at every opportunity to mobilise better mental health at work activity and engrain the subject as integral to organisational strategy.”

Shirley Parsons, MD, Shirley Parsons

Shirley ParsonsIn 2020 many thousands of people who Shirley has helped via her company over the last 15 years have helped their organisations manage their COVID-19 response. The company was also very fast to bring the health & safety communities together in the early stages of the pandemic, with knowledge sharing in both the UK and US. In the UK, many main contractors shared what they were doing weekly on a Teams platform hosted and chaired by her company. To celebrate 15 years of Shirley Parsons she led her company to raise over £1,500 for charity.

“Shirley has helped with a number of causes including women in health and safety, bringing new talent into the industry and ensuring senior level professionals have a safe space to share ideas.”

“She has impacted the health and safety careers of countless numbers of health and safety professionals over the years and as such has changed their lives and influenced the organisations and projects, they have gone on to work for.”

James Quinn, IOSH President and Senior Health and Safety Manager, Multiplex

James QuinnAs the incoming IOSH President, Senior Health and Safety Manager at Multiplex and Vice-Chair of the IOSH Construction Group, James saw from the “sharp” end in construction what was required to support his project and construction site to bring his team back safely – and has not stopped since the first lockdown began in England on 24 March. Combine this with his ongoing work for veterans and mental health awareness during 2020, up to and including his confirmation as IOSH President, and you see what makes him tick. James was confirmed as the new IOSH President in October and highlighted that, with the COVID-19 pandemic causing uncertainty, now is “an important time” for the profession, with businesses turning to safety and health professionals as they seek to protect their people and their futures. As a veteran who spent 24 years in the Armed Forces, his work to promote veterans through social media has endeared him to many as he leads the IOSH membership through COVID-19 and beyond.

“James is a true leader who can bring revolutionary changes to the OHS Profession.”

“A true champion by all the means. His support to the women in safety initiative boosted and attracted more women into safety while he was in the Middle East.”

“Jimmy is outstanding and passionate in every way when it comes to the thinking, safety and wellbeing of others. He is the advocate of pushing and believing in an inclusive approach, whether that’s for his internal colleagues or all of the external campaigns and commitments he gives externally – particularly to groups who really need a helping hand.”

“James is an example of how a veteran can succeed after serving and reaching the pinnacle of the profession – simply an outstanding role model to us all.”

“James is really driving a culture that embraces and promotes health and safety. James is also championing how veterans can make a real impact in the civilian sector and prove to assist in these challenging and unprecedented times with our ability to problem-solve, hold our nerve and flexibility.”

Kevin Robinson, CEO, Safer Highways

Kevin RobinsonKevin has campaigned relentlessly over this past year to influence the safety and health of all working on our public roads across the National Highways sector. The sector came under enormous pressure during lockdown as the support infrastructure for the road network shut down during lockdown, causing countless issues for the logistics and haulage sectors. Kevin played a key role in Safer Highways joining forces with the Lighthouse Construction Industry Charity and Building Mental Health to provide ‘collaborative thinking on mental wellbeing’.

“After having had many conversations with Kevin as part of Safer Highways, one thing that strikes me about Kevin is his willingness to collaborate – not just with senior leaders across the industry, but across the board including with early careers. He understands the importance of diversity to drive forward a cultural change.”

“Kevin has proven that driving forward a cultural change in the space of safety, health & wellbeing does not require a qualification, but rather an individual who has the desire, determination and hunger to genuinely want to create a change, and seeks no personal benefits.”

“Kevin’s enthusiasm and professionalism and outright passion for health and safety and particularly the area around mental health is outstanding.”

Professor Dr Andrew Sharman, Managing Director, RMS Switzerland. Immediate Past President of IOSH.

Andrew SharmanAs outgoing IOSH President, Andrew has been actively aiding the social interactions practitioners have sorely missed during the pandemic, with his weekly ‘let’s talk coffee chats’ on Zoom. Having been struck down with COVID-19 himself, Andrew has also been blogging on his LinkedIn page about his experiences of the virus. During a tough year as IOSH President, which came to an end in October, Andrew was able use technology to become the first President in 53 years to, virtually, visit every one of the 43 branches in a presidential year. Andrew also set up the One Percent Safer Foundation and put together a collaborative book, One Percent Safer, containing 142 chapters, written by 142 different thought leaders and inspirational thinkers, each one giving their best nugget of wisdom to make your organisation one percent safer. All proceeds from the charity set up to aid health & safety professionals affected by the pandemic.

“Andrew has consistently contributed to the advancements in the state of the safety and health profession globally. His books and masterclasses have enlightened thousands of professionals.”

“He has a wide reach and has been incredibly proactive in steering the health & safety agenda to focus on the positive opportunities COVID has presented. He is creating a movement to change the perceptions of H&S with his book 1% Safer and he recognises the involvement of his peers and colleagues, sharing the success and credit where its due.”

“Andrew has worked tirelessly over these past 12 months in his time as IOSH President to support the OSH professionals in the network but at the same time challenging and refocusing to ensure the profession uses this time to position health and safety at the centre of our leaders’ and organisations’ thinking.”

“He has worked through the pandemic, providing sensible, free information. His approach allows those competent and non-specialists to take on his advice and information.”

Rob Stephenson, CEO of FormScore, Founder of the InsideOut LeaderBoard and mental health campaigner

Rob StephensonRob has created a free app to help people have conversations more easily about their mental health. Each day you log your form/mood on a scale of 1 to 10 (a score which people with mental ill health often use). Your connections in the app can see your score too and can message you about it. So if you’re feeling particularly low, you don’t need to reach out to other people to let them know – something which can sometimes feel like an uncomfortable conversation. Likewise, if you’re feeling good. Instead this prompts conversation much more easily. He is very vocal on social media about tackling the stigma around mental ill health and has spoken on a series of webinars on the subject.

“Rob has literally transformed the way we now talk about mental health with his commitment to destigmatise mental ill health and his wonderful, open approach with discussing his own challenges. His ability to talk with people at all levels to open up the discussion is simply incredible.”

“Rob has really made a huge impact of raising awareness on mental health. His FormScore initiative is a fantastic idea and the app that is now running is a brilliant way to monitor your own mental health.”

Louise Ward, Health, Safety and Environment Director, Siemens

Louise WardLouise has been a key component in the Safety4Good initiative, helping to promote the safety profession in a positive light. She has helped to attract and support young people to enter the profession and nurture those future leaders to become confident and accomplished in their career paths. She worked with Safety4Good to devise its mentoring and Future Leader programme which launched successfully with 100+ applications for the first eight places. Louise holds down a global role but creates time to give back to others for the selfless benefit of the profession.

“Louise has consistently supported the forward movement of safety, support for wellbeing initiatives and positive approach to all issues.”               

“Louise has challenged us all to think about health and safety in a different way, getting us all to take ownership and responsibility, in a caring and supportive way.”

“Louise is truly an expert in her field having supported H&S with writing legislation in the past. She is always looking at how she can develop people in the field of HSE and is passionate about supporting people of all ages in furthering their careers.”

Lawrence Waterman OBE, British Safety Council

Lawrence WatermanAs part of British Safety Council’s various campaigns, Lawrence has spoken out on numerous occasions in support of workers, and the wider public, during the coronavirus pandemic. He called for all non-essential construction work to be stopped to protect workers during the first lockdown and urged the government to ‘concentrate on Track & Trace’ and advised against ‘unnecessary trips into the office’ when lockdown restrictions were lifted. Having played a lead role in London 2012, he was also very vocal in calling for the 2020 Olympic Games not to go ahead, prior to its postponement earlier in the year.

“Lawrence played a key role, using his platform, experience and knowledge, to ensure workers, particularly in the construction sector, were kept safe during the pandemic.”

“Some of the online courses provided by British Safety Council during the pandemic have been invaluable.”

Professor Chris Whitty, Chief Medical Advisor to the Government

Chris WhittyChris was appointed Chief Medical Officer (CMO) for England in 2019. He and two of his deputies, Jenny Harries and Jonathan Van-Tam, have been in high-profile roles giving medical advice and guidance to the government, as well as to the wider public during many Downing Street press conferences.

“Everybody in the UK has a more practical understanding of risk elimination and avoidance as a result of his clear, honest and approach.”

“The average UK citizen didn’t understand health, safety or contamination prevention and control at the start of 2020. By December 2020, Prof Whitty has become a household name and passed on sound, easily understandable health advice to the UK. His attitude to public health has been unwavering through incredibly difficult times and he has continued to provide everyone with a balanced, honest view of where we are, what we can all do, measure the response and try to change the behaviours of the UK as a whole.”

“Without the advice and guidance that Professor Whitty and his team of medical advisors has provided to the Prime Minister and government, the UK could see themselves in a worse position than we currently are. Professor Whitty has given sound advice based on data trends and analysis of how the virus has behaved in other countries during this troublesome time. Professor Whitty has at times had to speak up and stand by his research and opinions, even when the message hasn’t been well received by some people.”

“He talks with authority, leadership and care. A public servant dedicated to public health. I have immense respect for him being able to stand in front of the nation, balancing politics and public health in the public arena. He stands at the heart of government where public health should be.”

Maria Winters, Head of Safety, TfL

Maria brought the safety, systems, engineering and operations teams together with CRL in readiness for trial running within a short timeframe, with no compromise to standards of health and safety, during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Maria is leading the safe implementation of the largest new railway for some time and the first new railway operator to stand up in the UK following the introduction of the ROGS legislation. To stand up a new railway ensuring safety for new assets, digital systems and staff is a massive undertaking and breaking new ground.”

“Maria joined the Elizabeth line at a turbulent point in the programme that was further impacted by COVID-19 and has tirelessly supported the team’s return to work / training with additional COVID-19 controls and remained focussed on completing the safety justifications for the railway to be handed over from CRL to RFLI.” 

“Maria is dedicated to health and safety; I feel confident that the Elizabeth Line will be very safe when operational due to the processes she is putting in.”

“The Crossrail Project cannot be underestimated for its sheer scale and complexity. It is immensely difficult to maintain standards and consistent working amongst the 1,000s of staff involved in the Project. For Maria to maintain her positive approach, high standards, open and clear communications in order to maintain health and safety good practice is an inspirational feat.”

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