'And the winner is...' LEEA Awards 2021

12 November 2021

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The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association (LEEA) welcomed 250 guests to its third Annual LEEA Awards 2021 celebrating the successes and triumphs of its diverse industry last month. Special Guest was comedian and TV presenter Dara O Briain and the event raised money for the chairman’s charity, Sobell House, in memory of LEEA colleague Craig Morelli.

The winners were presented with their trophies during a dinner at Grosvenor House Hotel in London and included; retired LEEA stalwart Denis Hogan, who picked up The Stuart Everitt Award and Gareth McNary of Select Plant Hire – Laing O’Rourke won The Safety Award, sponsored by Rigging Services, which recognises commitment to safety in the lifting equipment industry. The runner up was Karayi Manghattu Devadasan from Romson Oil Field Service.

Best Lifting Equipment Inspector recognises individuals who are ambassadors to the profession and the industry, demonstrating commendable attributes and professional behaviours. It was won by Chris Elwick from Sparrows Offshore Service, for showing a great commitment to inspection detail, good commination skills with clients, as well as the drive to come up with innovative ways for reporting. The runner up was Manny Segundo from Technical Royal Excellence Oil & Gas Services.

Best Innovation Award recognises a product or service that is truly innovative, providing a unique value proposition and tangible benefits to the lifting equipment industry. It was won by the Crosby BlokCam from The Crosby Group. The judges agreed the technology shows clear visual and audio features and a vertically integrated manufacturing process that differentiated it from other suppliers. The runner up was SensorSpace Remote Monitoring, Mantracourt Electronics.

Outstanding Apprentice, sponsored by Bridger Howes, recognises talented apprentices who have demonstrated an outstanding commitment to their professional development in the lifting equipment industry. It was won by Lewis Behai from Sunbelt Rentals. Runner up was Ivan Osawe from Speedy Hire.

Best Lifting Operation recognises a company that has performed a lifting operation that provides evidence of complexity, risk, uniqueness and customer testimonials. It was won by Thames Tideway East Greenwich Pumping Station team by Costain. This was a truly impressive project. Kudos to the team for realising the risk and operating the mobile crane remotely. AquaTerra Dunlin Team was runner up.

The Kevin Holmes Award for Excellence in People Development recognises excellence in supporting and facilitating the continual professional development of its employees. It was won by Hoist UK. The judges loved that this organisation’s approach is to find great people and train the necessary skills. In an era where finding individuals with lifting experience is becoming increasingly difficult, they took the challenge to invest time and money to develop a competent team. Bridon Cookes, New Zealand was the runner up.

Bailey Lewis from Reid Lifting won Unsung Hero which recognises individuals who excel in their work ‘behind the scenes’, underpinning the successes of their organisation. Anthony Hope from Sparrows Offshore Services was runner up.

The CEO’s Award went to City of Bristol College. The award recognises an exceptional individual or company who did something particularly notable in line with LEEA’s aspirations. This year City of Bristol College supported the association in pushing the Apprenticeship Standard to near completion.  “With hours of work wrestling with funding equations, crunching numbers, sourcing appropriate comparisons – without this partner we simply wouldn’t have got to the very edge of having an Apprenticeship for our industry.  I am extremely grateful for their dedication and support,” said Ross Maloney, CEO, LEEA.

Best Team recognises a team or department within an organisation that demonstrates how its work has helped achieve or exceed objectives and contributed to the overall competitiveness and/or success of the company during the previous 12 months. It was won by the Engineering and IT team at Reid Lifting. The key to their success is that they work as a team. They know that working together and supporting each other will make them successful. Runner up was Hinckley Point C Lifting Management and Assurance Team from Notus Heavy Lift Solutions.

 The Craig Morelli Award for Accredited Training Scheme – Best Trainer focuses on LEEA’s Accredited Training Scheme and the professional trainers delivering high quality end-user training courses. It was won by James Cox, from Industrial Training International, who consistently met or exceeded challenging objectives and demonstrated a quality approach through personal values and working practices. Craig Douglas from JCD Training was runner up.

“Having started 2021 with Covid-19 lockdown restrictions in many areas, the LEEA Awards evening was a fabulous opportunity for our industry to reconnect. The awards also play a vital role in promoting the gold standard offered by LEEA members to their customers around the world, as well as encouraging young talent. Any award winner naturally gains satisfaction from recognition of their effort and achievement, but the benefit of the awards runs far beyond the individual recipient. Through rewarding the best of the best, an award broadcasts a positive signal that an industry is coming together to celebrate the raising of standards,” said Ross Maloney, CEO, LEEA.

“The association has its own recent award achievements to celebrate: achieving silver award status with the Armed Forces Covenant employer recognition scheme and gaining silver in the UK trade association of the Year Awards. With the support of a passionate, engaging and active board the association does our very best to provide support for our members and ensure that collectively we all get closer to eliminating accidents and injuries from our industry.

“The LEEA Awards is a young but growing event, boosting the profile of the lifting equipment industry through promoting the impressive work performed by our members. It can only encourage new recruits and thus contribute to safeguarding the sustainability of our industry – a common challenge we share with many other sectors.

“This year’s event was particularly significant in allowing members to celebrate coming together after what has been a difficult period for many during the Covid pandemic. The pleasure in meeting old and new friends and colleagues as well as enthusiasm for the year to come was evident in the party atmosphere of the night.”

Next year’s LEEA Awards will be held on October 5, 2022 during LiftEx in Aberdeen. 

The Craig Morelli Award for Accredited Training Scheme. Winner: James Cox from Industrial Training International
Best Lifting Equipment Inspector Award. Winner: Chris Elwick from Sparrows Offshore Services
Safety Award. Winner: Gareth McNary from Select Plant Hire (Laing O’Rourke)
Best Lifting Operation. Winner: Thames Tideway East Greenwich Pumping Station team by Costain
CEO’s Award. Winner: City of Bristol College
Best Innovation Award. Winner: Crosby BlokCam from The Crosby Group
Outstanding Apprentice Award. Winner: Lewis Behai from Sunbelt Rentals
Best Team Award. Winner: Engineering & IT team, Reid Lifting Ltd
Stuart Everitt Award. Winner: Denis Hogan
Kevin Holmes Award for Excellence in People Development Award. Winner: Hoist UK
Unsung Hero Award. Winner: Bailey Lewis from Reid Lifting