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NYFRS awarded for Health and Safety record

19th May 2010

Fire service in top three in country for health and safety.

North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (NYFRS) is celebrating winning its fourth consecutive national Occupational Health and Safety Award. The service has been awarded a prestigious Commendation for Health and Safety practice, by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), at its annual awards ceremony. This places them in the top three emergency service organisations in the country in terms of the health and safety of both their staff and the public.

This is the fourth consecutive year NYFRS have received a RoSPA Award, having achieved the RoSPA Gold Award in 2007 and 2008 and Commended (Emergency Services Sector Award) in 2009. The Sector Award is much sought after, the next level up from the Gold Award. There were a record number of 1,800 entrants for RoSPA awards this year.

Receiving the award, Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Nigel Hutchinson said: "This award is recognition of the abilities and commitment of our staff. It is a clear indication that the service continues to move forward in an extremely positive manner that not only ensures the safety of our firefighters, but improves the service we provide to our local communities. The fact that the awards are judged and awarded by an independent panel of health and safety experts shows what an achievement this is for the whole Service."

Also attending the ceremony was Councillor Caroline Seymour of the Combined Fire Authority who commented; "NYFRS has quite a small number of people responsible for running the Health and Safety and Occupational Health units and it is very gratifying that their hard work is recognised in such a public way".

The competitive Sector Awards recognise organisations that have demonstrated a robust and high quality safety management system together with a minimum of four years' consistently excellent or continuously improving health and safety performance.

To gain the award, NYFRS had to go through a rigorous process and demonstrate that it had safe working practices throughout the service. The award builds on the operational reputation of the service which has previously been acknowledged and accredited by the Audit Commission.

NYFRS Group Manager Graham Buckle, who leads the HR department added; "The RoSPA Awards are not just about reducing the number of accidents and cases of ill-health at work; they help ensure that organisations have good health and safety management systems in place. In the current economic climate, awards are more important than ever because they demonstrate that employers care about their employees and will not let their standards of health and safety practice slip even if times are tough."

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