Cammell Laird shows safety first as three employees honoured with awards
Birkenhead shipyard and marine engineering services company Cammell Laird has honoured three employees for demonstrating exemplary safety in the workplace as it prepares to host a health and safety conference.
The workers, from three separate departments, were presented with Safe Worker Awards in a dockside ceremony staged in the shadow of polar research vessel the RRS Sir David Attenborough.
All three were chosen in recognition of either a single event or a series of incidents where they have shown knowledge and dedication to upholding health and safety procedures.
Kev Roberts and Jon Payne, from Cammell Laird, and Michael Oram, who works for contractor MPE Interiors, were honoured by HSEQ Director Tony Potter, watched by colleagues.
Kev, a supervisor in the building of submarines, previously worked on astute-class submarines, a department that achieved the highest health and safety record in the shipyard during 2018. He is currently assigned to build dreadnought-class submarines and uphold the high standards set by client BAE Systems.
He said: “Health and safety is very important for everybody because of the size of the shipyard, and it is good to see the company pushing in the right direction with these kind of awards. Equipment and technology are advancing dramatically and that potentially brings new hazards along the way, so we have to make sure we are all taking steps to stay safe because we all want to go home at the end of the day. Incentives like the awards go a long way for everyone to see that our efforts are being recognised and appreciated.”
Jon, who works in the estimating department, was nominated by Tony Potter for his design work to convey the health and safety message around the site. Previously working in IT, he has spent more than 10 years with Cammell Laird and said he felt humbled by the accolade.
Michael has worked in shipbuilding for 40 years, starting out as an apprentice with Cammell Laird and spending the last 15 years with MPE, in Birkenhead. He is currently working on the Sir David Attenborough but his nomination was made for an incident on another ship.
He said: “I was working on another ship and we had a call that the gangway needed repair to prevent an incident, so we had to stop what we were doing to get over there straight away. We made a step to get over the top of the gangway safe and, once we’d made it safe, we went back to the original job we were doing. I’ve been nominated before, for work on the floor of the bridge of the Sir David Attenborough, but never won the award.
“It’s great and it shows that Cammell Laird are committed in trying to make the site safer for everyone. This kind of incentive is motivating for everyone to try to go further and keep high standards.”
Tony Potter said health and safety was a huge focus for everyone within the business. Nominations for those who go the extra mile can come from, directors, managers, supervisors and members of the health and safety department. He joined the business six years ago, bringing with him a wealth of knowledge in the management of health and safety from time spent working around the world in massive shipyards like Drydocks World in Dubai.
He said: “I couldn’t think of a more fitting group of people to receive these awards. They’re people who always go that extra mile and are always seen doing the right thing and I’m delighted for them. Health and safety at Cammell Laird is a key focus at the yard and we know we need to take it to the next level to be ‘world class’ and these awards are a recognition of that.
“We’re bringing in training programmes all the time as we recognise areas of the business where we improvement opportunities exist, because the health and safety of our workforce is paramount and needs to be at the forefront of everything we do.”
The awards come as Cammell Laird prepares to stage a Health and Safety conference on Merseyside on November 28. The event at Thornton Hall Hotel and Spa on the Wirral will see the formal launch of Cammell Laird’s five-year health and safety plan and is aimed at customers, suppliers and health and safety professionals. There will be talks from guest speakers from the Royal Navy, the Royal Fleet Auxiliary, the Health and Safety Executive and the International Key Note Speaker, Eldeen Pozniak who is a giant in the H&S world who reigns from Canada and is a not to be missed charismatic and entertaining speaker.
The conference will also hear from playwright Brian McCann, whose musical Down our Street, based on life at Cammell Laird through the years, will be performed at New Brighton Floral Pavilion from 29 August to 1 September. Brian, whose relatives worked in the shipyard, wrote the play 15 years ago but has updated it to include more recent events for its latest performance. He attended the health and safety awards and said: “You can see the pride people have for working at Cammell Laird both when you’re here and after they’ve seen Down our Street. I am delighted to be attending the health and safety conference in November.”