Two Chartered Members of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) have been included in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list.
These awards celebrate the extraordinary contributions of people across the United Kingdom and will be presented at an investiture ceremony in Buckingham Palace later this year.
Lynne Main, Head of Safety and Health and Wellbeing at Work, Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra), has been appointed a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) for “services to safety, health and wellbeing”.
Meanwhile, Emrys Pritchard, Director of Health and Safety and Sustainability at University of Northumbria, has received his MBE for “services to higher education”.
Both are thrilled to have their work recognised in this way – although the news is yet to sink in for Lynne.
She said: “When I received the letter from the Cabinet Office, I was really taken aback. To be awarded this for a job I adore is quite simply a privilege.
“I’ve worked for Defra for more than 30 years, with 25 of those in the Health and Safety team. Since taking an admin post in 1996 supporting the department’s Health and Safety Unit, I have been incredibly lucky to have had opportunities within Defra to be able to study and progress (to IOSH Chartered status) in a profession and team that I love.
“Health and safety can appear dry and ‘tick box’, and since being promoted to the Head of Safety and Health at Work in 2007 I have been passionate about bringing it to life and trying to keep things simple. I love the variety, and the fact that we are always learning.
“Health and safety is about continuous improvement, and this recognition helps validate the importance and worthiness of everyone in our profession.”
Emrys feels “honoured and humbled” to receive the award, which acknowledges the significant contribution he has made to protecting the health and wellbeing of students and staff at the University of Northumbria both before and during the Covid-19 pandemic. Since January 2020, he has worked tirelessly to ensure Northumbria was prepared, safe and secure and in a position to keep critical services open.
Additionally, he has enabled key local partners, including the NHS Trust, to access Northumbria’s facilities, ensuring that key Covid-19 research continued on campus throughout lockdown and that the university was able to produce PPE components for use by NHS workers locally.
“The last 18 months have been extremely challenging,” said Emrys, a Forces veteran. “Providing a safe environment for our staff, students and the wider community could only have been achieved through a monumental team effort by the whole university community.”
IOSH Chief Executive Bev Messinger added: “On behalf of IOSH, I would like to congratulate Lynne and Emrys on this well-deserved recognition of their contribution to the occupational safety and health (OSH) profession.
“These accolades not only highlight their impressive individual achievements but also shine a spotlight on the importance of good OSH to people in the workplace every day of the year, wherever they are in the world.”