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Rising Star award-win for McCann’s Project Health and Safety Manager

2021 keeps going from strength to strength after one of our Project Health and Safety Managers took home the Rising Star award at this year’s Safety & Health Excellence Awards.

The prestigious ceremony returned for the fourth year running after attracting more than 200 entries and 500 guests in 2020, and celebrates the success, innovation and achievements of all those working in health and safety.

The 2021 event took place virtually on Wednesday 13th October with awards presented across thirteen categories – from Health and Safety Manager of the Year to Water Pollution Prevention. The ceremony also encompassed the long-established British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF) awards, which promote the importance of high standards of excellence and innovation. 

Dave McPherson, a McCann Project Health and Safety Manager on the M27 Motorway Upgrade Scheme, was named as a finalist alongside employees from Kier Highways and Mabey Hire – with the Rising Star category recognising individuals who have made a significant contribution to the implementation or enhancement of health, safety or wellbeing standards within their organisation.

Dave was nominated by McCann for his dedication to innovation within the civil and electrical engineering sector and Ben Feltham, our Quality and Lean Manager, felt he was a worthy nominee and deserved winner.

 “Dave’s efforts this year have been phenomenal. He is one of those individuals who works tirelessly everyday, and works hard to engage the operatives and find safety solutions that no one else can find,”

We were delighted to receive two National Highways Blue Star Awards this year as a result of Dave’s efforts in collaboration with Bam Morgan Sindall Infrastructure Joint Venture (bmJV) on the M27 Motorway Upgrade Scheme.

The first recognised a partnership with specialist glove manufacturer STALSEN to introduce new-to-the-market hand protection for the workforce. This new glove has replaced standard issue work gloves in order to reduce the risk of hand injury, improve hand health, reduce environmental waste and improve operative satisfaction and uptake.

The second award saw McCann recognised for introducing an industry defining Genny and CAT training initiative, significantly improving competence and confidence in the use of Cable Avoidance Tools (CAT), through a training exercise which focuses primarily on the use of the Signal Generator (Genny).

“Like many organisations, we’ve had to adapt during the pandemic, and this includes continuing to innovate our approach to health and safety in the workplace,” adds Ben. “Dave has not only changed McCann’s way of thinking about health and safety, but also the industries. He’s set new standards for workforces by introducing innovative products and processes that will change how we think about life on site forever. He is thoroughly deserving of this award and the whole team at McCann sends its congratulations to him.”

Dave, who received the award via an interactive digital conference, is both shocked and humbled by the news.

 “I really appreciate McCann putting me forward for such a prestigious award and I am over the moon to have been chosen as the winner!” he says.

“For me, engaging meaningfully with those who are actually conducting the work is paramount in health and safety. Taking the time to find out what the real challenges are, and working together to find the best solutions is the key to achieving lasting success,”

“I’m passionate about ensuring that all who go to work should be able to do so without endangering their health or safety, and I’m constantly searching for the very best way to achieve this. McCann puts the health, safety and welfare of all of its workforce at the forefront of everything it does and was fantastic in giving me complete support in the development of new initiatives and innovations,” adds Dave.

“I was up against some really strong nominees, and I would like to congratulate all of the finalists for their hard work and dedication. It’s a real honour to be taking home the Rising Star award.”

To find out more about the Safety and Health Excellence Awards, visit

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