The UK Asbestos Training Association’s (UKATA) Chief Operating Officer (COO), Craig Evans, has been named as one of the health and safety industry’s rising stars.

Recognising an individual who has made a significant contribution to the implementation or enhancement of health, safety or wellbeing standards within their organisation, Craig has been shortlisted for the prestigious Rising Star award in the 2019 Safety & Health Excellence Awards.

Late last year Craig was promoted to the newly created role of COO, recognising his commitment to helping implement and maintain high standards of asbestos training for all UKATA members, which currently numbers around 200 member organisations throughout the UK.

Commenting at the time of his appointment, UKATA Chair Graham O’Mahony explained: “Craig shares UKATA’s drive and focus to maintain and improve the industry’s understanding of the dangers of asbestos and reduce the risks surrounding the material.

“He is a highly respected member of the team and his extensive knowledge of the industry as well as his strategic planning skills will be key in the future development of the association.”

In addition to Craig’s nomination, UKATA has also been shortlisted in the Campaign of the Year category in the annual awards for its Train Safe, Work Safe, Keep Safe campaign.

Since its launch in 2016, the successful campaign has seen over 4,000 hours of asbestos awareness training donated by UKATA members to those who need it most.

The campaign was awarded a Certificate of Commendation at the 2018 Safety & Health Excellence Awards. This year, the UKATA team hope to take the winning title at the awards following a relaunch of the Train Safe campaign last year which saw it partner with Jobcentre Plus, part of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).

Through Jobcentre Plus, UKATA’s Train Safe campaign provides complimentary asbestos awareness training to people who are unemployed, NEETS (Not in Education, Employment or Training) or looking to change career.

Craig said: “The UKATA team and I are thrilled to have been shortlisted in two categories at this year’s Safety & Health Excellence Awards. It recognises our combined commitment to deliver high quality asbestos safety training and help reduce the number of people suffering from diseases caused by asbestos exposure.”

This year the 2019 Safety & Health Excellence Awards, which are organised in conjunction with the British Safety Industry Federation (BSIF), will take place on 10 April 2019 at the prestigious VOX at Resorts World, NEC Birmingham.

Hosted by comedian Sean Lock, the awards are expected to attract more than 400 guests from the safety, health, fire and security sectors.

Craig added: “It will be a fantastic evening and we’d like to wish everybody involved good luck. It’s great to be a part of such an important industry and to see the work companies do in this sector recognised.”