Nick Shankster receives President's Gold award

Nick S

Nick Shankster honoured for more than 40 years of voluntary service.

14 November 2014

During his time as a member of the IOSH Midland Branch, Nick Shankster has held the role of Chair, Treasurer, Secretary and been appointed its Honorary President.

But he has now called time on his role as Treasurer after 21 years, with the Branch paying him a glowing tribute.

As well as presenting him with an array of gifts at a recent EGM, the Branch also arranged for Mr Shankster, of Gloucester, to receive the President’s Gold Award for distinguished service from IOSH.

He was presented with the honour by 2014-15 IOSH President Ian Harper at the Chartered body’s annual Networks Conference earlier this month.

Having started his career as an engineer, Mr Shankster changed direction when he was appointed as a Regional Safety

Officer for British Insulated Callender’s Construction Co Ltd, which later went on to become Balfour Beatty plc.

He joined the Institution of Industrial Safety Officers (IISO) – now IOSH - in the 1970s and began fulfilling many voluntary roles including Midland Branch Construction Section Chair and Secretary.

It was during this time that he saw the inception of the Health and Safety at Work Act, which itself it celebrating its 40th anniversary this year.

Of the Act’s legacy, Mr Shankster said: “The main thing that came out of it was the fact that everyone was involved in ensuring safety, not just the worker who was liable to get injured. There is also the fact that you can fail in health and safety now just by not complying with the regulations.”

Between 1987 and 1988 Mr Shankster chaired the IOSH Midland Branch Executive Committee before taking up the role or Treasurer in 1993 following his retirement from the world of work.

His involvement with the branch has also seen him hold the title of Secretary between 1998 and 2001, and also act as Treasurer for the four Midland Branch Districts. In 2010 he was appointed Honorary Midland Branch President.

Mr Shankster, who will remain involved with the Midland Branch as a member, said he had thoroughly enjoyed his time as Treasurer but felt it was “time I handed over to someone else”.

Midland Branch chair Mohammed Basharat presented him with a plaque and other gifts to mark the occasion, before thanking Mr Shankster for his service on behalf of the Branch.

More than 100 IOSH members attended the meeting, including visiting members of the IOSH Hong Kong Branch.

Former Midland Branch chair and vice-chair Roger Smith was voted unanimously as Mr Shankster’s successor as Treasurer. He thanked Mr Shankster for his dedication and described him as being a “big act to follow”.