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OPERC Awards 2006

OPERC Awards for Science, Innovation, Technology and Health and Safety (30/03/06)

This year's prize presentation saw a record number of nominations from members and industry for leading manufacturers, construction contractors and scientists. However, after careful deliberation and discussion amongst selected OPERC Executive members, only four prizes were awarded, all for work in the same area of science.

Amongst manufacturers, MacDonald Air Tools and Hilti won prizes for outstanding contributions to hand-arm vibration (HAV) research work. Both of these manufacturers have set a very high standard of professionalism for others to now follow in HAV research and both are well deserved winners of this prize.

Speedy Hire won the plant hire industry's prize for their various contributions to HAV research work which include innovative educational materials, support networks for industry practitioners and promotion of the freely available HAVTEC register. Speedy continue to play an instrumental role in improving equipment operator health, safety and welfare.

Finally, the construction industry prize for an outstanding contribution to HAV safety went to Mr Mark Owen, Shepherd Construction. Shepherd Construction and the Major Contractors Group (MCG) are rightly proud of Mark for all his work (much of it voluntary) towards ensuring that the construction industry has access to freely available and scientifically correct data on the safe use of hand tools. Without these efforts from Mark, Shepherd Construction and the MCG the industry would not have moved forward so positively as it has done. Many congratulations to Mark!

Three personal prizes were also awarded to individuals who have made a real difference in their respective fields of expertise. First, two prizes were awarded to Mr Brian Coles and Dr Chris Nelson at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for their tireless work in the field of HAV. Both are exemplary professionals and between them, they (and their respective teams) have made a real difference to the health, safety and welfare of many workers in industry.

A third prize was awarded to Mr Barry Robinson, Chief Examiner of OPERC who won the MBE earlier this year for his contribution to health and safety in the quarrying industry. On a personal note, OPERC executive and the members thank Barry for his invaluable work in improving the lives of others and for his voluntary work within OPERC. He is the finest of professionals and well deserving of this award.