Toby shines in health and safety Rising Star Awards

Toby Cook

Toby Cook’s dedication as a health and safety advisor for Lanes Group plc has earned him the chance to be named health and safety Rising Star of the year.

The 20-year-old has been shortlisted for the award which recognises the talent, hard work and contribution made by young health and safety professionals across the UK.

He will find out if he has won the award, given by Safety and Health Practitioner Magazine, at the SHP Safety Expo at EXCEL in London on Wednesday June 19.

Toby said: “I am overwhelmed to be shortlisted. It’s very special to be recognised by my professional peers.

“I enjoy the industry I work in and the work I do, I also get a lot of support from colleagues, so it is easier to make a difference working for a company where safety is appreciated.”

Toby was nominated for the Rising Star Award in the utility industry category by Health and Safety Manager Kris Taylor.

Both work for the Lanes operation delivering the wastewater network maintenance service for Thames Water, the UK’s largest water company.

Working in partnership with Thames Water, Lanes is responsible for surveying, cleaning and repairing drains and sewers, as well as wet well cleaning and wastewater tankering, on behalf of 15 million customers across London and the Thames Valley.

Kris said: “Toby came to us with no experience of the water utility industry or health and safety management, but he has excelled from day one.

“All three of our health and safety advisors do an amazing job of supporting colleagues to promote health, safety and wellbeing.

“Despite being the youngest, Toby has shone since he joined us, using his own initiative to introduce ideas that we’ve adopted across our whole operation.”

Toby joined Lanes in April 2018 as a health and safety trainee with no higher education qualifications. He had previously worked as a suit salesman.

To learn about his role, he went on ride-along days with operational colleagues – a concept adopted for all members of the health and safety team.

While studying for a NEBOSH General Certificate in health and safety, he used his study leave to support colleagues preparing for audits to achieve ISO 45001:2018 accreditation.

Toby has also used his new skills and knowledge to help coaches at his cycling club carry out dynamic risk assessments of activities undertaken by its youngest members, aged 6 to 17.

Lanes introduced its health and safety advisor trainee scheme to ensure it had people with the right skills and attitude to support a positive safety and wellbeing culture across its Thames Water operation.

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