A new award designed to recognise rail industry trailblazers in occupational health has been launched by the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH).

The IOSH Railway Group Award 2012 for Occupational Health celebrates individuals, teams and companies who have developed innovative and successful projects and schemes on work related health. And the institution is now calling on people to nominate those who have driven up standards in occupational health, providing new ideas for the industry and improving work life for fellow employees.

The award winner(s) will be announced at the National Rail Industry Conference 2012, at Glaziers Hall, in London, on 20th November.

IOSH Railway Group vice chair Iain Ferguson, who has championed the awards for the industry, said, “For a long time we’ve been urging the rail industry to recognise that good health is just as vital as good safety. Statistics have even shown that railway workers experience more ill-health than construction and transport workers, so there’s clearly a lot of improvements to be made.

“But over the last few years we’ve seen some fantastic initiatives which have played a part in raising standards that are really making a difference to people working on our railways. These awards are about celebrating those achievements, which will hopefully play a part in driving down the total UK cost of occupational ill health, currently estimated at over £100bn a year.”

Open to anyone involved in the UK rail sector, projects and achievement entries must be original, unpublished and approved by the employer. A trophy and certificate will be presented to the winner, who will also have the chance to give a presentation on their work. Up to three people from the winning organisation or team will be given free conference places, one night’s accommodation, up to £100 travel expenses and dinner at a top London restaurant.

To find out more on the awards and how to enter, please visit www.iosh.co.uk/railwaygroupaward.aspx. Entries should be sent to events@iosh.co.uk, or via post to Events Team, IOSH, The Grange, Wigston, Leicestershire, LE18 1NN by 15th September.