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22 May 2012

MPA Wins RoSPA's Top SME Safety Assistance Award for its Outstanding Contribution to SME Health & Safety Support

The Mineral Products Association (MPA) has been announced the winner of The Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) SME Assistance Trophy in recognition of its outstanding contribution to helping small and medium-sized firms with accident and ill health prevention.

Roger Bibbings, RoSPA’s Occupational Safety Adviser, said: “The Mineral Products Association was selected as 2012 SME Assistance Trophy winner in recognition of the breadth of the support services it has developed for its SME members and the encouragement it has given larger MPA member organisations to support SMEs.”

The SME Assistance Trophy recognises the most outstanding contribution made by a trade association or similar body to providing health and safety assistance to small and medium-sized enterprises. The SME Assistance Trophy is presented annually as part of the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards. The Award acknowledges that many SMEs rely on the expertise of trade associations and similar bodies for advice and assistance about managing health and safety in a balanced and sensible way.

Martin Isles, Director Health and Safety MPA, said “MPA’s membership is a ‘broad church’.  As such, we strive hard to satisfy all members, particularly in the field of developing demonstrable personal competence.  This necessitates the crafting of our policies and initiatives in ways that are attainable, sufficiently flexible and above all provide challenge and leadership in our relentless drive towards Zero Harm.”

The entry which won MPA the SME Assistance Award covered several health and safety activities which the Association is involved with, but focussed in particular on MPA’s family of ‘Safer by...’ initiatives.

  • MPA ‘Safer by Sharing’ Regional Seminars:

MPA arranges seven Regional Meetings across the UK three times a year.  Last year and this year, each Region has a dedicated ‘Safer by Sharing’ H&S Seminar, led by the Region’s SME chairman, with expert speakers from member companies.

  • MPA ‘Safer by Association’ Site-Audit Tool:

 ‘Safer by Association’ is MPA’s site audit based initiative, with product-specific extensions, developed specifically for SME members. This is a free service to MPA members.

  • MPA ‘Safer by Competence’ Policy:

MPA’s ‘Safer by Competence’ policy initiative is designed to achieve demonstrable evidence that the whole footprint of industry as represented by the MPA is able to prove progressively its achievement of full competency-assurance, within a succession of target deadlines.  To assist progress, MPQC has offered free advice to MPA members (principally SMEs) to map their job functions to the relevant National Occupational Standards.

In addition, MPA facilitates a Health & Safety ‘mentoring’ service, whereby a member company that requests assistance with Health & Safety is put in touch with the required expertise. 

  • MPA ‘Safer by Design’ Voluntary Guidance:

MPA’s global ‘Safer by Design’ voluntary best practice guidance advises the minimum acceptable ranges of safety features for new and re-engineered mobile plant.

The well-founded practical advice on the ‘Safer by Design’ web pages of has benefitted many MPA SME members.  The web pages are online at

The SME Assistance Trophy was presented to MPA by Lord Jordan of Bournville, RoSPA President, and Tom Mullarkey, RoSPA Chief Executive, at the RoSPA Awards ceremony on Wednesday 16 May.  MPA’s ‘Safer by...’ family of Initiatives has also, separately, been shortlisted for a Trade Association Forum Best Practice Award. A final branch will be added in June 2012 when MPA launches ‘Safer by Partnership’, its contractor safety Initiative, at Hillhead.

This year the RoSPA Awards attracted nearly 2000 entries overall. MPA is a member of RoSPA - a safety charity with a history stretching back 95 years.


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