The rapidly assembled Health and Safety Executive (HSE) task force to ensure effective controls when introducing new and novel sources of personal protective equipment (PPE) supply has been awarded an industry-leading accolade.
The British Occupational Health Society (BOHS) has recognised HSE’s efforts in putting together a unique team of specialists to assist the Government in their efforts in providing frontline health care workers with life-saving personal protective equipment (PPE), as a part of the UK coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic response.
The Peter Isaac award recognises “an outstanding initiative that has contributed to the reduction of ill health at work.”
The HSE PPE technical team was assembled to respond to unprecedented global demand for PPE, not only to provide NHS workers with access to high-quality PPE, but also to conduct research, provide expertise, and support policy making and PPE practical guidelines across a whole variety of workplaces.
The awarded team comprised of experts in occupational hygiene, scientists, microbiologists and infection prevention specialists as well as policy-making experts, and support staff, who combined their skills and knowledge across a wide range of interrelated disciplines.
Working closely with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC), Public Health England (PHE), Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA), the NHS and other government bodies, the HSE team evaluated materials and specifications against relevant PPE requirements, to rapidly provide agreement that new and novel sources of supply had been properly assessed and could be deployed to frontline workers without unnecessary delay.
HSE’s Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Andrew Curran said: ‘’This is a prestigious honour and richly deserved for the dedication and commitment where a rapidly assembled multidisciplinary team has delivered at pace on an unfamiliar topic.
‘’As a team we have drawn up specifications , facilitated rapid supply of PPE, conducted research, informed policy making and fostered innovation with the single aim of ensuring that personal protective equipment actually protects the healthcare workers wearing it.”
Alongside the Peter Isaac Award, a specialist occupational hygienist at HSE David Towler has also been awarded with the David Hickish Award as the best candidate of the year in completion of the BOHS Diploma of Professional Competence in Occupational Hygiene.