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Cumbernauld-based engineering company MB Aerospace has won a prestigious safety award from the British Safety Council.

The Award is one of TEN won by the Motherwell Bridge Group, parent company of MB Aerospace, at its sites throughout the British Isles. But the engineering group faced a tough test in order to satisfy an independent Awards Panel.

British Safety Council Award winners must have a lower than average accident rate, good safety policies and safety plans, and commitment to health and safety at the highest level. A qualified Health and Safety Officer is mandatory for each Award winner and they must also provide details of two significant advances in health and safety for the past year.

Alan Murphy, Executive Director of the Group Management Board responsible for Health, Safety and the Environment at Motherwell Bridge, said: “This is a great achievement for MB Aerospace and the Motherwell Bridge Group as a whole. It emphasises the importance we place on safety and the efforts, both financial and in terms of personnel, we put into improving our safety record at all of our sites.

“Three years ago, we appointed a Group Safety Manager to report to the board on all safety matters. Norman Stevenson has held this position since February 1999. Our record, thanks to the efforts of Norman and his team, has been improving steadily since then."

“We are very proud to have won these awards, but we will not become complacent and we are looking to further improve our safety standards at MB Aerospace in Cumbernauld and all the Group’s other sites in the future.”

MB Aerospace has benefited from several recent advances made by Motherwell Bridge to its already superb safety record, mainly by the creation of standardised health and safety policies throughout the Group, as well as new accident reporting and emergency procedures.

In addition to MB Aerospace, the British Safety Council presented Awards to Motherwell Bridge Group members: Motherwell Bridge Holdings, Motherwell Bridge Engineering, MB Material Handling Systems, MB Plastics, Motherwell Bridge Storage Tanks, MB Services, Motherwell Bridge Rail, Motherwell Bridge Nuclear and John Young (Kelvinhaugh).

Sir Neville Purvis, KCB, Director General of the British Safety Council, said: “The National Safety Awards highlight organisations that reach the top levels of health and safety. They are a mark of a proven and significant achievement in safety standards. By making safety an important feature of everyday work practice, the Motherwell Bridge Group is reducing accidents and ill-health whilst improving productivity and profitability.”

Prime Minister Tony Blair said: “By bestowing these Awards annually, the British Safety Council highlights the importance of safety in the workplace and I have no doubt that it will continue to spread this message successfully. I have great pleasure in sending my best wishes to all the winners.”

Motherwell Bridge Group Safety Manager Norman Stevenson added: “I’m delighted to say the majority of our divisions are operating more than 50% above the national average in their various industries.

“Group figures also demonstrate an improvement of 30% on the previous year, which is a remarkable achievement when you consider that the hours worked are up by 62%. It emphasises our never ending commitment to making the workplace as safe as possible.”

Motherwell Bridge Group has also been honoured by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for its outstanding safety record.Motherwell Bridge Storage Tanks won two Gold Awards. MB Services at Motherwell and Humberside won two Gold Awards and a Gold Medal, which is only awarded after winning RoSPA Gold Awards for five consecutive years.