The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – a legacy to be proud of!

What a year it’s been! A big congratulations is in order to all those who took part in the momentous occasion which was the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Long may these athletes’ extraordinary talent be marvelled at and remembered!

Tom Mullarkey and Catherine Chin with the Olympic Torch

RoSPA’s chief executive Tom Mullarkey and director of fundraising and communications Catherine Chin are pictured here with Sir Steve Redgrave’s Olympic Torch!
They got the chance to touch the torch on a visit to Finning UK’s premises in Cannock. Finning UK, which won the Sir George Earle Trophy – the highest competitive accolade at the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012 – was raising money for the Steve Redgrave Fund.

In this very special year, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents’ patron, Her Majesty the Queen, kindly agreed to us marking her Diamond Jubilee by recognising the outstanding and exemplary safety and health achievements of the Big Build construction phase for the Games. We did this by presenting the Diamond Jubilee Award to the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) at the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012 in May, which followed the presentation of the RoSPA Astor Trophy (for occupational health) to Park Health (a joint venture between Sypol Ltd and Duradiamond Healthcare), which was the occupational health function of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games construction project, in 2011.

RoSPA, a charity which has been at the heart of accident prevention in the UK and around the world for more than 95 years, believes the achievements of the ODA and its delivery partner CLM form an important part of the overall London 2012 legacy. From its inception, the ODA 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.

Needless to say, the safety record of the Big Build, which at its peak involved a 12,500-strong workforce on the Olympic Park and Olympic Village, certainly ensured a huge health and safety legacy from London 2012. Did you know that the construction of the main sporting venues and infrastructure on the Olympic Park involved around 62million hours of work? The Accident Frequency Rate was 0.17 per 100,000 hours – less than half the construction industry average and the project was completed without an accident-related fatality. A job well done and also a shining example from which the wider construction industry can learn!

The Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) accepted RoSPA’s Diamond Jubilee Award during a ceremony at the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012 in Birmingham.
Pictured from left, Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA chief executive, Lawrence Waterman, ODA head of health and safety, Dennis Hone, ODA chief executive, and Lord Brougham and Vaux, RoSPA vice-president.

By involving all workers and contractors in the health and safety challenge, organisations such as the ODA are well on the way to ensuring that safety leadership and worker engagement remain a top priority. As part of the Olympics Learning Legacy, RoSPA and many others are now working hard to ensure that health and safety lessons learned during the construction phase are extended well beyond this year’s Games, and not just across the UK, but globally.

As the curtain comes down on this year’s Games, take a moment to soak up the priceless commitment, knowledge and skills of the safety teams, who have helped to turn this year’s sporting spectacle into a glittering example of British health and safety values in action!

Not only have the British athletes proven to the world that they are heroes and heroines, but so too have the “hidden” men and women who made up the construction, health and safety teams which brought us a real showcase for success on so many levels. Let’s do all we can to ensure the example they set lives on.

Roger Bibbings, RoSPA’s occupational safety adviser.

One Comment to “The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games – a legacy to be proud of!”

  1. Nice to see the OHS industry being recognised!

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