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Past Risk Excellence Awards winners reveal the impact of their success

The IIRSM Risk Excellence Awards are returning in 2022 to celebrate risk excellence and all those who contribute to protecting people, reputations and profits. 

They identify those organisations, teams and individuals that champion better risk and safety management to drive organisational and employee wellbeing.

It has been a real pleasure honouring the achievements of our previous winners, so we invited one or two to share some thoughts on their experiences with the IIRSM Risk Excellence Awards – and to give their advice to anyone considering entering this year.

Dempsey Wood won a IIRSM Risk Excellence Award in 2021 for its Change Program of the Year, in response to challenges presented by Covid-19.

John McCammon, Head of Health, Safety and Wellbeing at Dempsey Wood, said: “Completing the application provided the opportunity to reflect on what will be familiar to all businesses across the world, what impact Covid-19 was having on the welfare of our employees and keeping the organisation operating safety in a quickly evolving environment.

“Winning this award was important to Dempsey Wood as recognition from an internationally recognised body, a stamp of approval that brought pride to all our staff and confidence to our clients and other local industry bodies that Dempsey Wood was an organisation that took it responsibilities seriously and could be a trusted partner.

“For organisations considering entering an award category in 2022, I highly recommend the process. Even if you do not ultimately win an award, completing the application process is a worthy exercise in itself.”

Paul Stokes is Head of Safety, Health, Environment & Quality (SHEQ) at FCC Environment UK, which grabbed the IIRSM Barry Holt Award for Outstanding Risk Management Practice.

He said: “The IIRSM awards qualification process was a straightforward process, albeit with quite demanding and specific criteria to meet and evidence that they had been met. However, it was a worthwhile exercise to undertake as by achieving the awards, this validated all of the hard work that had gone in to creating and maintaining a robust safety culture within our organisation, and demonstrates that our management systems do what we say they do.

“For others wishing to enter the IIRSM Awards scheme, the advice would be to ensure you have a firm idea of which category you wish to enter and that you can effectively evidence what is being written within the submission. It’s good to be able to talk about what you are doing, but it is even better to demonstrate and evidence that you are indeed doing what you say you are doing.”

The independent judging panel for the 2022 IIRSM Risk Excellence Awards consists of international risk, safety and business professionals from a range of backgrounds.

In 2021, Barnett Waddingham scooped the President’s Commendations Award. Karla Gahan, Senior Consultant and Associate at Barnett Waddingham LLP, said: “How did it feel to win the award? I was genuinely delighted and being recognised on the other side of the world is really important to me. 

“I picked up and left my life in London to come back to Australia and so to be a part of this community is really special to me. To be recognised by people I respect so much is just delightful. Really, really exciting.”

Safe365 were proud double winners of the IIRSM SME Risk Initiative of the Year and IIRSM Risk Technology Initiative of the Year.

Safe365 co-founder Nathan Hight said: “It’s incredibly humbling to be recognised by the professional experts that make up the judging panel. I think that’s probably the deepest recognition you can get, to be recognised by industry peers and by experts. It’s incredibly rewarding.

“It was especially rewarding and motivating for our team. We had a breakfast the morning of the ceremony, after we won the award, which was a great opportunity to celebrate and really lifted us as a team.

“For those of you who are thinking of applying… I highly recommend that you do it. It’s worth investing the time to actually put on paper everything that you’re doing. Then put it up for nomination and go through the process.

“You’re going to meet lots of people, have a great experience and learn about the other cool products and services being developed in our risk and safety profession. And who knows? You might just be the winner. So get amongst it, and good luck!”

How to Apply

The awards are independent and free to enter for both IIRSM members and non-members. Whether you work for a large multinational with big budgets and lots of resources, or an SME or charity with small budgets and limited resources - the principles and benefits of effectively managing risk equally apply.

You can apply for the IIRSM Risk Excellence Awards via this link until entries close on 18 February 2022. Here you can also browse the categories into which you are able to enter.

Our exciting awards ceremony with be held on 19 May 2022, where we will be delighted to announce this year’s winners and join you in celebrating these huge achievements within the industry.

Good Luck!


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