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Trade associations and the firms they help with health and safety still have time to put forward nominations for the 2012 RoSPA SME Assistance Trophy, sponsored by BHSF.

The SME Assistance Trophy, which was presented for the first time earlier this year, recognises that many small and medium-sized firms (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.

After the success of the 2011 trophy, which was won by the British Constructional Steelwork Association Ltd, the Midlands-based health insurer and employee benefits provider BHSF was keen to sponsor the award again to highlight and reward excellence in helping SMEs improve their management of accident and ill health prevention.

Nominations for the trophy are invited from trade associations and similar bodies themselves, as well as from the firms they help. The closing date for nominations is January 14, 2012. Full details about how to send in a nomination are available at www.rospa.com/awards/whichaward/sme-assistance-trophy.aspx

Roger Bibbings, occupational safety adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “It is widely acknowledged that SMEs need help and support to enable them to manage health and safety successfully and we are delighted to offer recognition to the trade association or similar body that has made the most outstanding contribution in this respect. Organisations that go the extra mile to help SMEs not only save lives, reduce injuries and prevent ill health, but also help to show that good health and safety is good business.

“The judging panel will be looking out for evidence and needs-led services that are developed with input from SMEs and the use of novel methods of intervention and influence. Interventions that are sustainable and capable of replication in other settings will also be looked upon favourably.”

Peter Maskell, chief executive of BHSF, said: “We are very pleased indeed to be sponsoring this award for the second year. BHSF has been involved with the wellbeing of employees in the workplace since 1873 and we see this sponsorship as very important in recognising best practice.”

The RoSPA SME Assistance Trophy will be presented as part of the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012, for which ceremonies will take place alongside Safety and Health Expo in Birmingham from May 15-17 and also in Glasgow on September 20.

Registration for all other awards and trophies in the RoSPA Occupational Health and Safety Awards 2012 closes on Thursday (December 1). For more information about the awards scheme, visit www.rospa.com/awards/, call 0121 248 2090 or email awards@rospa.com. Among the many helpful resources on the website is a new RoSPA Awards video.

The RoSPA Awards scheme has been announced as a finalist in two categories at the UK Event Awards 2011. The winners will be revealed at a ceremony at Wembley Stadium tomorrow.