Finning (UK) Ltd lifts RoSPA's Sir George Earle Trophy

Finning (UK) Ltd has been announced as the winner of the highest competitive accolade at the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012.

The UK's Equipment Solutions and Power Systems divisions of Finning International Inc, the world's largest distributor of Caterpillar plant, were presented with the Sir George Earle Trophy at a ceremony in Birmingham last night. The presentation was made by Lord Brougham and Vaux, RoSPA vice-president, and Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA chief executive, to Keith Oakes, Head of EHSQ at Finning UK & Ireland and David Oates, Director, Power Systems.

Finning UK, which has its head office in Cannock was selected as the winner of the safety charity's most prestigious competitive trophy because of its open and positive culture of care that is clearly driven from the top by directors and senior managers. This culture is also energised at every level by the involvement of workers in innovation and continuous improvement, supported by close attention to comprehensive training and mentoring.

Other features of Finning UK's health and safety management system that particularly impressed the judges included: the practical support provided for many of its engineering staff who often work in relative isolation at clients' sites; the recent health and safety “simplification” project, which was led by employees and has made risk assessment and safe working procedures easier to operate; efforts to safeguard and promote health; its approach to work-related road safety; and its encouragement to employees to take key safety messages home to help protect themselves and their families outside working hours.

This is the fifth year in which Finning UK has entered the awards programme run by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA).

Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA chief executive, said: “Through its rigorous attention to detail and determination to examine thoroughly every way in which it could improve, Finning UK has demonstrated excellent performance. As worthy winners of the Sir George Earle Trophy - Britain's top competitive award for health and safety - the firm is committed to sharing its knowledge and experiences as widely as possible to help save lives, reduce injuries and safeguard workers' health.

"We are particularly pleased that the trophy, which was first presented in 1956, has been won by a company that has never won it before - a clear incentive for those who may be wondering whether it is within immediate reach."

Commenting on the award win, Keith Oakes, Head of EHSQ at Finning UK & Ireland said: “To be recognised by the world renowned RoSPA organisation as a business that is worthy of its most prestigious award is hugely significant to the whole of the Finning business, our customers, suppliers and employees. It is an award that is respected throughout the UK and the rest of the world and puts us amongst an elite list of past winners. In recognising Finning in this way, RoSPA has made all of the hard work worthwhile and the impact the award will have on our business will be felt now and into the future. It is a fantastic platform in which to build and we also see it as an opportunity to increase awareness of the health and safety issues we tackle in the diverse range of industries in which we work.

The presentation was made during the first of three gala dinners taking place from May 15-17 as part of the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012. The awards programme, which is sponsored by NEBOSH (the National Examination Board in Occupational Safety and Health), is the largest and longest-running occupational health and safety awards programme in the UK. It recognises organisations' commitment to continuous improvement in the prevention of accidents and ill health at work, looking not just at accident records, but also entrants' overarching health and safety management systems.

This year is on course to be another record breaker, with nearly 2,000 entries registered in total, and judging is still ongoing for organisations hoping to receive a certificate at the RoSPA Scotland ceremony in Glasgow in September.