Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service has won its sixth consecutive gold medal at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) Occupational Health and Safety Awards for 2011.  

The RoSPA awards are presented to organisations that have excellent health, safety and welfare management systems in place and can show continuous success in reducing accidents among employees. 

Over the last eight years, the service has seen the total number of work-based accidents among staff reduce from 216 to 67, while vehicle-related accidents have dropped from 115 to 67 in the last four years.  

Health and Safety Group Manager, Dave Orr, said: "The safety of our staff is of paramount importance and we are always looking at ways in which we can improve processes to protect them. Over the past three years, we have improved and extended the Health and Safety training we have delivered to all staff on a cost neutral basis.  

"Dedicated themed training is now given to all corporate and control room staff. The training was initially given to operational staff which heightened their hazard perception and resulted in a reduction in accidents in operational activities; it was therefore decided to deliver this same training to all staff. This is paying dividends, as people are thinking about their safety more, and it has helped us to significantly reduce the number of accidents at work." 

The latest figures just published show that the number of accidents involving Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue staff has reduced significantly again in the last year. The total number of accidents fell by 29.4% from 95 in 2009/10 to 67 in 2010/11.  Vehicle-related accidents also fell sharply by 34.3% from 102 in 2009/10 to 67 in 2010/11.  

Chief Fire Officer Iain Bathgate added: "We are committed to providing a highly effective emergency response service without compromising the safety of our staff. Winning the RoSPA gold award for the seventh time shows how highly we value the health and safety of all of our employees and is fantastic recognition for the teams who work with our staff to encourage a happy, healthy and safe workforce." 

David Rawlings, RoSPA Awards Manager, said: "Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service continues to show a commitment to protecting the health and wellbeing of its employees and others. Organisations that do this deserve to have such dedication recognised, and that's where RoSPA comes in. We hope other businesses and organisations follow Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service's lead and strive for continuous improvement of health and safety management." 


Posted: 15.56pm, 26.05.11