Top award for local chairman

TOP AWARD: Pictured at the presentation are, from left - Kaye Adams, John Forster (chairman of Forster Group Limited) and Margaret Burns (chair of NHS Health Scotland).

TOP AWARD: Pictured at the presentation are, from left - Kaye Adams, John Forster (chairman of Forster Group Limited) and Margaret Burns (chair of NHS Health Scotland).

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The chairman of a specialist roofing and contracting company based in Angus is the first to win a national award in workplace health and safety from Scotland’s top business leaders.

John Forster, chairman of Forster Group Limited, won the Director Award for Workplace Health, Safety and Wellbeing at the Institute of Directors (IoD) Awards last week. Forster Group’s headquarters in Angus service the north east, including Aberdeen, Dundee and Perth.

Sponsored by the Scottish Centre for Healthy Working Lives (the Centre), the award was presented to Mr Forster at the annual event in Glasgow, which was attended by over 300 directors from across Scotland.

Accepting the award, Mr Forster said: “As business leaders in a safety-critical industry caring for our staff is our biggest priority.

“We invest extensively in training for our staff to maintain an excellent safety record, and are dedicated to promoting healthy working lives, both on site and in our offices, to ensure the highest standards of health, safety and wellbeing.

“Although it’s my name against the award, in reality it’s a joint achievement. It recognises a team that has worked passionately over many years to deliver something very special within our own organisation and all the other organisations we work with.

“The Centre focused our approach to health, safety and wellbeing, helping us to make sense of our diverse activities and enhance them. They brought everything together and allowed us to move on to the next level.”

Developing the Forster Group into a national roofing brand has been done with no compromising of safety standards. John Forster has implemented a ‘Safety Management System’ to reduce staff injury rates to zero – an achievement recognised with a Healthy Working Lives (HWL) Award.

The Centre’s HWL Award Programme encourages employers to create a healthier workforce and covers a wide range of topics including occupational health and safety, healthy eating and mentally healthy workplaces.

Steve Bell, strategic director at the centre, said: “Staff are the most important resource for any organisation. Research shows that nine out of ten companies using HWL services to improve their staff health get clear business benefits ranging from increased turnover to reduced sickness absence.”

Chair of NHS Health Scotland Margaret Burns, who presented the award to Mr Forster, said:

“We’re delighted that workplace health, safety and wellbeing has been recognised by IoD as a significant part of a successful business, and we’re pleased to sponsor this category. It is an achievement about which John should be very proud.”