Marisa Firkins, CMIOSH, the Managing Director of Safety Forward Ltd has won the Midlands IoD, Director of the Year Agility & Resilience Award, after capitalising on the challenges she faced as Covid struck in March 2020.

Marisa who worked for the National Crime Agency UK for over 22 years before moving into health & safety, setting up Safety Forward 8 years ago, would be the first to admit that the last 18 months has been the most challenging but with the determination to move the business forward and help others, she rose to the occasion.

When all industries were hit hard back in March 2020, Marisa faced some intense new challenges and took full accountability in not only continuing the business, but making huge improvements and offering new, relevant services by reviewing the values and culture of Safety Forward Ltd.

To adapt to the changes which were enforced upon the country, Marisa and her team built a state-of-the-art virtual training facility and migrated larger clients to a health and safety management software . Safety Forward is now one of the few preferred suppliers in the area, who can now manage support and training remotely, which has been extremely well received by clients.

Marisa believes: “The pandemic and supporting clients through Covid-19 has reinforced just how important people are within businesses as assets requiring care and consideration. Effectively managing remote workers attracts the best talent.

“Traditional health and safety methods will need to change and adapt in light of the greatest overhaul our economy has seen.” Marisa concludes.

Not just content in just getting through the pandemic, Marisa utilised her extensive knowledge and offered help in the form of free PDF Covid-19 Health and Safety Guides available to download from their website, including a business continuity plan, business impact analysis, developing a return-to-work plan, pandemic contingency plan, Covid-19 Tool Box Talk and free health & safety checks, whilst also offering Introductory webinars and podcasts for local businesses to assist with the changes and uncertainty.

I’m sure you will join us in offering huge congratulations to Marisa in receiving this prestigious award and recognising her work and commitment to the health and safety industry – we couldn’t be prouder.