Imperial staff were recognised for their exemplary management of health and safety at the Provost’s Awards for Excellence in Health and Safety.
Imperial’s Provost, Professor Ian Walmsley, hosted his first awards ceremony since joining the College last year, and praised staff for going “above and beyond” to promote safer ways of working.
He said: “The integrity of our actions and environment underpin our world class teaching and research, and excellence in health and safety is a vital part of this.
"Today is an important event to mark the contribution of our committed health and safety professionals, as well as our colleagues who have gone above and beyond in their commitment to the safety and wellbeing of others.”
The Provost also highlighted the work that has gone into revising the existing Health and Safety Policy Statement which will soon be rolled out across the College, and commended the Safety department and other colleagues for improving the rate of accident reporting.
Boosting lab safety
Eddie Benbow, a Thermofluids Technician from the Department of Mechanical Engineering, won the individual award this year. He was recognised for introducing a safer way of containing different gases required for combustion analysis.
Professor Cawley added: “Eddie is professional and knowledgeable about his health and safety responsibilities. Whilst being approachable and helpful, he carries out a lab management role in an assertive and conscientious manner.”
Reflecting on his win, Eddie said: "I enjoy working at Imperial as the work is challenging and varied, and there is a good team of support staff with whom I have great working relationships. I feel proud to receive this award as it was unexpected - I really appreciate that my efforts have been acknowledged."
Eddie was also noted for taking on a voluntary role and receiving training in Lifting Operations and Lifting Equipment Regulations (LOLER). He has promoted the Department’s new code of practice for heavy and mechanical lifting operations, helping to ensure that necessary assessments are made, lifts are undertaken safely and that records are maintained.
The chemistry behind teamwork
The Faculty of Natural Sciences Safety Team along with Matt Moderate, Health and Safety Technical Officer in the Safety department, scooped top prize for the team award. They won for their outstanding professionalism and teamwork throughout the transfer of the Department of Chemistry from Imperial’s South Kensington Campus to their new home in the Molecular Sciences Research Hub (MSRH) on the White City Campus.
Stefan Hoyle, Head of Health and Safety (Faculty of Natural Sciences), said: “As part of this move, our team were involved in everything from the design of the MSRH building to creating an induction programme that allowed our colleagues to move in safely.
"We moved 50,000 chemicals over from South Kensington to the MSRH, and had to implement a system to sort, segregate and organise the substances to avoid any accidents.
“We learned a lot from this move and this year, Imperial is going to introduce a new software called LabCup, which is used for chemical management. We are sharing best practice from the move with other departments as well, so that they can also be more efficient, have more storage space and better spend their budget when dealing with chemicals.”
Professor Alan Armstrong, Head of the Department of Chemistry, nominated the team, saying: “Their exceptional professionalism and teamwork led to successful implementation of numerous new safety policies and procedures. Their outstanding work put safety culture at the forefront from day one in the new building. In addition, they ensured successful coordination of the move and safe clear-up at the old site.”
The Faculty of Natural Sciences Safety Team consisted of Stefan Hoyle; Olga Kuzmina (Faculty Safety Manager); Emma Edwards (Faculty Safety Officer); Anthony Marchant (Faculty Safety Officer); Richard Price (Electrical Testing Technician); Jochen Brandt (Research Associate).
Highly commended staff
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