A TILLICOULTRY man has received his OBE medal after he helped shape health and safety standards for decades – carrying on while facing of MS in the past few years.

Dr Stewart Arnold, 55, a son of the Wee County who now lives in nearby Bridge of Allan, has become an officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire last week.

The man, who attended Tillicoultry Primary and Alva Academy, led an exemplary career with the Health and Safety Executive and used his mechanical engineering expertise to investigate industry accidents and make recommendations to drive standards up.

Over the past more than 18 years, he was employed as a principal mechanical specialist inspector and continued following a multiple sclerosis diagnosis until he lost the motor function in his dominant hand.

Stirling Lord-Lieutenant Alan Simpson presented him with the medal at his Bridge of Allan home last week.

He said: “It's clear from the people who know him that Stewart has made a huge contribution to workplace safety over many years.

“He has encouraged industry to adopt new technologies in innovative ways; been instrumental in improving standards across the EU; and has made pivotal contributions to accident investigations, identifying the underlying cause of incidents and providing explanations for families and bereaved.”

Dr Arnold was “thrilled and humbled” to receive the honour and thanked his family and employer for their support over the years, which allowed him to carry on in his role up until recently.

Former boss Richard Judge, CEO of the Health and Safety Executive, said the award was "a richly deserved recognition for your contribution to HSE over many years".

During his work, the doctor was summoned to look into around 200 workplace accidents, some fatal, across the UK.

Often he would give expert evidence in the courtroom, typically during Fatal Accident Inquiries.

He was involved in the investigation after a gondola cable car crash in the Ben Nevis range in 2006; the same year, the design standard for a wind turbine component was rewritten when he found deficiencies in the product following an accident.

The last six or so years have become more and more difficult for Dr Arnold, who lost his mobility and had to start using a wheelchair.

While he could not investigate accidents any more, he was able to keep drafting standards from home, using the computer for conference calls.