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RoSPA Distinguished Service Award for Martin Isles

Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents recognizes ‘tremendous contribution’ to health and safety

MARTIN Isles, director of health and safety at the Mineral Products Association (MPA), has been presented with a Distinguished Service Award by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA) for his outstanding contribution, over more than 35 years, to safe and healthy working in the quarrying and mineral products sector.

Distinguished Service Awards are reserved for individuals who have made exceptional contributions to society through their work in health and safety, and only a handful are presented each year. 


In his current role at the MPA, and also as President of the Institute of Quarrying, Mr Isles is at the leading edge of the sector’s UK, European and inter-continental interests in health and safety, driving continuous improvement for all engaged in or affected by the quarrying industry.

In 2000, at the behest of the chair of the then Health and Safety Commission, he signed the voluntary Hard Target pledge on behalf of the Quarry Products Association (QPA), the forerunner of the MPA.

During the 10 years that followed, he was at the centre of instilling a common culture among the QPA’s members for continuous improvement in health and safety performance, sharing good practice and incident information and raising standards of behavioural safety and worker involvement.

In 2005, Mr Isles oversaw the creation and launch of, which he has directed and developed extensively since then. This website is now recognized across Europe and beyond as the industry’s primary focus for health and safety, hosting, among its many features, output from MPA’s annual awards scheme, which Mr Isles has directed since 1996. 

In 2009, he introduced the ‘Safer by Design’ initiative, which seeks to improve the ‘designed-in’ safety of the industry’s heavy mobile plant, by working with the manufacturers, standards-makers and regulators. This initiative has since achieved global recognition, and Mr Isles is now driving the development of a raft of new ‘Safer by...’ initiatives.

Speaking at the award presentation, RoSPA chief executive Tom Mullarkey commented: ‘The tremendous contribution that Martin Isles has made to saving lives and reducing injuries in the UK minerals sector is shown by the 83% reduction in reportable injuries he oversaw from 2000–2009. He expresses total commitment to achieving further improvements in safety and health and his enthusiasm, confidence, motivation and integrity are second to none.’

Commenting on his award, Mr Isles said: ‘When one looks at the list of past winners of this rare accolade, I am humbled to be in such exalted company. It has re-doubled my motivation to achieve even greater strides to the benefit of all who work at the sharp end in this fascinating yet challenging industry.’


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