Compliance blog

This year’s SHP IOSH Awards were once again the highlight of the health and safety calendar at the London Hilton on 20th October for a gala dinner and presentations.

The climax of the evening was the presentation of the Alcumus sponsored Lifetime Achievement Award, made to Dr Paul Oldershaw in recognition of his long and distinguished career in occupational hygiene in the UK, the EU and globally.

After qualifying in chemistry at UMIST, he worked in the chemical industry before joining the Factory Inspectorate in 1974, where he specialised in the occupational hygiene of fibres and other particulates and developed important innovations in dust sampling.

While at HSE, Paul was responsible for: developing occupational hygiene field support services; the specialist section on asbestos and fibre controls; EU negotiations on asbestos, chemical agents, man-made fibres and methodologies for fibre counting; the New Chemicals Notification Scheme; introduction of the UK statutory system for assessing and approving pesticides; and the UK technical system for setting chemical exposure limits.

He contributed greatly to development of the COSHH Regulations and the generic framework for hygiene requirements for chemicals, which has been widely copied internationally. He helped build, and headed, the multidisciplinary body of health professionals in HSE and has chaired or been secretary to major government professional committees. He has made major contributions to the development of an evidence base for the targeting of action on occupational health.

Paul has received the prestigious Yant Award from the American Industrial Hygiene Association for commitment to promoting occupational hygiene worldwide, especially in developing economies, and the RoSPA Distinguished Service Award. He has been an active member of the British Occupational Hygiene Society, having served as council member, honorary secretary, and twice as president. He holds various professional posts through which he continues to contribute to hygiene and the health sciences generally. Paul is also past president of the International Occupational Hygiene Association and for many years was advisor to both International Labour Organization and World Health Organization.

Paul said: “I was both surprised and delighted to receive the IOSH Lifetime Achievement Award, sponsored by the Alcumus Group. I have the greatest respect for the professionals who act to improve occupational health and safety, and so to be given this award by my peers makes it especially valuable to me”

Martin Smith, chief executive Alcumus said: “Our winner has been a key global player in occupational hygiene for many years.  He has professionally made a significant contribution to hygiene and the health sciences and personally made a significant difference to the safety and health of the working lives of people throughout the world.“

The IOSH/Alcumus Group Lifetime Achievement Award honours individuals who have furthered the status and practice of occupational health and safety, leading to substantial improvements to the lives of working people. The award has previously been won by Lord Walker of Doncaster, Professor Sir Julian Peto, George Brumwell, Nancy Tait MBE, Michael Clapham MP, Judith Donovan CBE, and last year, Roger Bibbings MBE.