Diamond Jubilee marked with RoSPA award for London 2012 safety achievements

The outstanding and exemplary safety and health achievements of the Big Build construction phase for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will be recognised tonight through a special award to mark Her Majesty the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.

The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), of which Her Majesty is patron, will present the Diamond Jubilee Award to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) at a ceremony in Birmingham tonight (May 15). The presentation will be made by Lord Brougham and Vaux, RoSPA’s vice-president, and Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA’s chief executive, to Dennis Hone, the ODA’s chief executive, and Lawrence Waterman, the ODA’s head of health and safety.

From its inception, the ODA, working with delivery partner CLM, declared that its aim was to be a leader in safety and health, integrating these objectives into planning, design and construction operations, and enhancing workforce wellbeing.

The safety record of the Big Build, which, at its peak, involved a 12,500-strong workforce on the Olympic Park and Olympic Village, has been hugely impressive. Construction of the main sporting venues and infrastructure on the Olympic Park involved around 62 million hours of work with an Accident Frequency Rate of 0.17 per 100,000 hours - less than half the construction industry average, and it was completed without an accident-related fatality.

Given the prestige and profile of the Big Build, work is already underway to maximise learning opportunities across the UK and globally, so ensuring a huge health and safety legacy from London 2012.

Tom Mullarkey, chief executive of RoSPA, a charity that has been at the heart of accident prevention for more than 95 years, said: “It is only right that in our Patron’s Diamond Jubilee year, we have been able to pick out one special organisation - the Olympic Delivery Authority - whose contribution to safety in the UK is now an exemplar to the whole world.

“The ODA’s approach to occupational health in particular, provides a shining example that the construction industry at large could learn from and follow. In addition, the fact that the Big Build was completed without an accident-related fatality is tribute to the leadership and organisation of the ODA in the most testing operational conditions. We are so pleased that Her Majesty has consented to this unique award, and we hope it will be a foretaste of a wonderful summer of celebration for our country.”

Dennis Hone, ODA chief executive, said: “We are honoured to receive such a prestigious award in recognition of the health and safety achievements of our workforce. The safety of the teams delivering the London 2012 venues and infrastructure has always been our number one priority and by creating a culture of teamwork and individual responsibility, incidents have been few and far between. We are rightly proud of having delivered the project with an accident frequency rate that is half the construction industry average.”

Brendan Barber, Trades Union Congress (TUC) general secretary, said: “The TUC and construction unions have worked closely with the ODA to ensure that the Olympic Park was not only completed on time and on budget, but built with an outstanding safety record and a high level of employee engagement. This RoSPA award is a welcome recognition of the hard work that has gone into achieving all these aims.

“The task facing the construction industry now is to learn from the Olympics and to make this the new benchmark.”

The presentation will be made during a ceremony for the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012, which recognise organisations’ commitment to the prevention of accidents and ill health in the workplace and which also encourage the raising of standards across the board. Three days of ceremonies are taking place from May 15-17.

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