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21st April 2011

Life-saving device earns Checkmate a third Queen’s award

A safety device developed by Checkmate Lifting and Safety of Sheerness, Kent, which prevents the most common cause of death in the workplace – falling from a height – has been honoured with The Queen’s Award for Innovation.

The accolade marks a unique treble for Checkmate, as the group has previously won two other Queen’s Awards in 2004 and 2008

This year’s Award is for the design, development and successful sales of the company’s Xcalibre Fall Arrest Blocks, which effectively act as a brake on a worker falling from a height.

The latest annual figures (2008/9) from the Health & Safety Executive show that 35 people died and more than 11,700 were injured following falls in the workplace.

Says Checkmate Lifting & Safety managing director Oliver Auston: “We passionately believe that innovation is a key to business success, and Xcalibre embodies that, allowing us to sell across the UK and the world against cheaper, foreign-made alternatives. Quite simply, it’s the best at saving lives and preventing injury.”

Checkmate employs almost 100 people, and has four divisions operating in two UK locations – the Sheerness headquarters and Melksham in Wiltshire.

The group’s creative and pioneering drive has seen it become world leaders in diverse fields from workplace safety and cargo handling to sea energy and rubber engineering.

As a result, the group has an enviable client base, including the Palace of Westminster, where it has installed rooftop safety systems, the Ministry of Defence, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, Gearbulk, CityCenter Las Vegas, Speedy, Certex and Bunzl Greenham.

Founded in 1978 by entrepreneur, philanthropist and group chairman Paul Auston, Checkmate has consistently achieved its corporate goals of developing ground-breaking new products, building domestic and export markets, and retaining highly skilled staff.