Edinburgh’s tram operator scoops health and safety award

The organisation which runs Edinburgh’s tram network scooped an IOSH-sponsored gong at the city’s Chamber of Commerce Business Awards.

Edinburgh Trams won the health and safety award. Image: Edinburgh Trams
Edinburgh Trams won the health and safety award. Image: Edinburgh Trams

Edinburgh Trams won the ‘Excellence in Health and Safety’ accolade for its robust policies to ensure both employees and customers do not come to harm.

The judging panel, made up of members of IOSH’s Edinburgh Branch committee, were particularly impressed by how the firm tackled the issue of ‘tram surfing’, which sees people cling to the side of moving trams. The firm designed carriage doors to prevent this from happening.

After the ceremony, Michael Powell, Safety and Standards Manager for Edinburgh Trams, said: “Safety is fundamental to everything Edinburgh Trams does and is always our foremost consideration, without exception.  

“We are proud of our positive safety record. This award serves as recognition of the excellent job all of our colleagues and contract partners do on a daily basis.”

In 2016, the firm had 5.6 million customer journeys. Michael said they are looking to introduce a new ‘Risk Management Maturity Model’, which has been devised by the Office of Road and Rail.

He said: “Introducing an additional form of transport to a city that is increasingly busy with residents and tourists was not without its challenges, and to have achieved this award at a time when our patronage continues to exceed expectations and we are running more trams than ever makes it even more rewarding for our team.  
“And in spite of all of the above we will continually seek to improve. It's what drives us our business and gets us out of bed in the morning.”

The ceremony was held at the Sheraton Grand Hotel in Edinburgh on Monday 27 February. Three other firms were shortlisted for the health and safety category: SP Energy Networks; First Scotland East; and Geckotech. 

Four IOSH members were on the judging panel: Karen McDonnell, IOSH Immediate Past President and Edinburgh Branch committee member; Helen Pearson, Branch Chair; Rupert Balfry, Branch Vice-Chair; and fellow committee member Liz Young.

Helen Pearson, Chair of the IOSH Edinburgh Branch, said: “We chose to sponsor the category to put a spotlight on local businesses getting health and safety right, illuminate good practice and draw attention to initiatives that other organisations can adopt for themselves. 
“The winners tackled the issue of ‘tram surfing’ at the design stage to reduce this phenomenon, thereby helping to safeguarding public safety.”


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