SSEN scoops prestigious safety champion award

Geoff Norcott, Host of the Utility Week Stars Awards, Heather Black from SSEN's Safety, Health and Environment team and Rachel Parry from SSEN's Central Performance team being presented with their award

Geoff Norcott, Host of the Utility Week Stars Awards presenting the award to Heather Black from SSEN's Safety, Health and Environment team and Rachel Parry from SSEN's Central Performance team

Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks’ (SSEN) Safety, Health and Environment team has been recognised at the prestigious annual Utility Week Stars Awards ceremony by picking up the Health and Safety Champion: Initiative award.

The award was presented for the successful introduction of SSEN’s safety licence, ‘If it’s not safe, we don’t do it’ and the rollout of the ‘Influencing Behaviours’ training programme across the organisation. Judges commended the nomination as being ‘the standout’ entry in the health and safety initiative category.

Heather Black from SSEN’s Safety, Health and Environment (SHE) team and Rachel Parry from the Central Performance team attended the event on Friday in Manchester which attracted hundreds from across the utilities industry to celebrate the dedication, ingenuity and teamwork of people across the UK’s utilities sector.

Intended to be more than just a slogan, SSEN’s safety licence gives individuals at all levels the empowerment and authority to stop a job or activity if they are concerned for their own personal safety and that of others, providing a direct message that safety always comes first to make sure everyone goes home safe at the end of the working day.

The ‘Influencing Behaviours’ programme was delivered to more than 4,600 employees and contract partners at 30 different locations across SSEN’s network areas north and south, challenging delegates to think differently about their own beliefs and behaviours and promoting the importance of interdependency.

A spokesperson for the judges said that choosing a winner from this hugely competitive category was very difficult as there were many quality entries. However, SSEN’s entry scored extremely highly:

“Judges were said to have been particularly impressed with the scale of the initiative, as well as the clear impact it has had on the workforce”.

Richard Gough, Head of Safety, Health and Environment for Networks, said:

“We are delighted that the introduction of our licence and ‘Influencing Behaviours’ programme has been recognised by the industry. This is testament to the competence of our behavioural science partner Karrdale and everyone’s hard work across the business in both the roll out of the programme and in making sure it remains central to the work that we do.

“It’s encouraging to see our people are now regularly using their licence and the introduction of the influencing behaviours programme has added an important extra layer in helping us all understand human factors in the workplace. Our focus is now on embedding these learnings and working alongside the Safety Family goals to help ensure we all go home safe.”

The Safety team weren’t the only winners on the day, with Highland hero Mike Sutherland picking up the Supernova Award for Long Service for his selfless customer service during his 44-year career.

SSEN was also shortlisted for the Big Bang Award for Innovation: Customer-facing for the introduction of its vulnerability mapping tool, and the Hero Award: Team for its South Caledonia region’s storm response during ‘the Beast from the East’ weather front in February this year.

For more information on our behavioural science partner, Karrdale, and the training programmes they offer, please visit

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Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks

We're responsible for maintaining the electricity networks supplying over 3.8 million homes and businesses across central southern England and north of the Central Belt of Scotland. We own one electricity transmission network and two electricity distribution networks, comprising 106,000 substations and 130,000 km of overhead lines and underground cables across one third of the UK. Our first priority is to provide a safe and reliable supply of electricity to the communities we serve in Scotland and England.

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