BLOG ARTICLE: 14/10/2022

A day of celebration at the Pledge Conference and Awards 2022


Nearly 200 members of the British Ceramic Confederation gathered to celebrate the annual Pledge Conference and Awards and the industry’s dedication to improving health and safety.

The event, held at the DoubleTree by Hilton in Stoke-on-Trent, recognised the success stories behind the people and companies that have been the driving force behind health and safety initiatives within the ceramics sector.

More than 100 entries were received this year, which were split into three categories: an open category, individual recognition, and contractor awards.

BCC Chief Executive Rob Flello said: “It was a fantastic event, and great to have such a wide range of entries from across the membership of BCC.

“Some of the awards were for big ideas, while there were some that recognised the use of simple ways of promoting health and safety and wellbeing. Quite often, it’s the little things that make a big difference.”

The overall Pledge Award of Excellence 2022 went to Forterra Building Products (Group) in recognition of their impressive efforts in health and safety.

This year, Pledge also launched new awards for emerging talent, with Wavin Ltd, Forterra Building Products (Claughton) and Wienerberger UK all seeing people rewarded for their hard work and dedication.

This year the award judges were former HSE inspector Phil Smith and BCC’s former Deputy Chief Executive Francis Morrall.

BCC President Edward Naylor addressed the conference saying that the ceramics sector had a strong and lasting commitment to continually improve health and safety performance.

He added: “In recent years, there has been a commendable focus on the health aspect of health and safety in manufacturing workplaces – and this year’s award entries show that this agenda has broadened even further to support, not only your employees, but their families and wider community as well.”

The health and safety message was spread in a different way this year at the conference, with Fifth Dimension adding a sprinkle of magic to their presentation. Keynote speaker Prof Tim Marsh, MD of Anker and Marsh and Visiting Professor at Plymouth University, put the focus on the importance of wellbeing within the health and safety remit.

Ed Corbett, who leads on Human Factors and Organisational Psychology at HSE’s Science Division, spoke more about the psychology behind our actions in relation to keeping ourselves safe, while Julia Thomas, Senior Associate at Eversheds Sutherland, provided advice on what to do in the event of an accident.

Lauren Darby, BCC Safety, Health & Environment Director, said: “Pledge has been running for more than 20 years and it provides members with a great opportunity to celebrate successes, learn from others and share best practice.

“It was lovely to come together once again for the Pledge Conference to celebrate success and award those companies and individuals who have worked really hard to improve health and safety performance across the ceramics sector over the past year,” she added.