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Health and Safety Manager Awarded

Dave West presented with Archangel award for safety campaign

A health and safety manager whose innovative campaign achieved a nationwide reach has been honoured with a top industry award.

Dave West, health and safety manager at waste company Biffa, was handed a RoSPA Archangel Award at a glittering ceremony on Tuesday night at ExCeL London.

Part of the RoSPA Guardian Angel Awards scheme, the Archangel Award is a prestigious accolade granted to individuals that go above and beyond the call of duty to protect the lives and wellbeing of others.

In his work of raising awareness of hazards and near misses for Biffa’s waste collection crews, a hazard was repeatedly identified that had no easily controllable solution – cars driving recklessly on pavements to get past crews collecting bins.

This problem also affects any pedestrian who might be using the pavement, with potentially life changing consequences.

Dave championed the development of a safety campaign called DRoPs (Driving Recklessly on Pavements) to highlight this previously unrecognised danger faced by crews and the public. Working with the police, he put in place a reporting process that within 12 months was taken on by over 20 police forces UK wide and is still growing, recognised by many safety bodies.

Errol Taylor, RoSPA chief executive, said: “Dave’s tireless work has spread the DRoPs message to every private waste and recycling contractor in the UK, every local authority, and even internationally. While the problem hasn’t stopped, the campaign has greatly increased awareness of such dangerous driving being unacceptable – and seen an increase in action against reckless drivers. That’s why we’re delighted to present him with our Archangel Award.”

Dave said: “It was an honour to accept this award from RoSPA, not only for myself but also for those who played the critical roles which enabled us to achieve this key initiative and bring it to the fore.

“DRoPs is still gaining momentum from within and now from outside of the waste industry with the aim of, not only reducing the risk for waste workers, but also members of the public who form a large part of the average 2,400 incidents which occur annually, resulting in pedestrians being struck by vehicles in this manner.”

Further Guardian Angel Awards presentations will take place in Birmingham in July, and Glasgow in September, and take place as part of the annual RoSPA Health and Safety Awards.

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Accidents are the biggest threat to you and your family for most your life. In fact, more than 14,000 people die as a result of accidents across the UK each year, while thousands more are maimed and millions are injured. Businesses are ruined. Families are devastated. Children grow up without parents, parents without children. Yet despite the scale and severity of the problem, accidents are still too often discussed with a shrug of the shoulders. There is a pervasive belief amongst some people that accidents are somehow inevitable. That they can't be stopped. Imagine if we took the same attitude towards child abuse. Or cancer. For almost 100 years, RoSPA has been quietly working behind the scenes to change both legislation and attitudes surrounding accidents. From the compulsory wearing of seatbelts and the campaign to stop drink driving, to the Cycling Proficiency Test and to the more recent ban on handheld mobile phones behind the wheel, RoSPA has been instrumental in shaping our society for the better, preventing millions of deaths and serious injuries along the way. As a registered charity, we are committed to continuing this legacy of change.