A TILLICOULTRY man, who battled multiple sclerosis while helping to shape health and safety standards in the country is to receive an OBE.

Dr Stewart Arnold, 55, will become an officer of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire after "an interesting and rewarding career" as a mechanical engineering specialist inspector with the Health and Safety Executive.

He was in the role for more than 18 years and continued working despite his condition for the past decade, only taking a medical retirement recently after losing the motor functions in his hand.

Over the last nearly two decades, Dr Arnold's job mainly involved investigating accidents in various industries where there has been a failure in a mechanical plant or equipment, and made work environments safer for the future with his recommendations that helped shape legislation and guidelines.

During his work, he was summoned to look into around 200 workplace accidents, some fatal, all over Scotland and a few in England.

On many occasions, he was required to provide expert evidence in the courtroom, for instance during Fatal Accident Inquiries (FAIs).

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.

In the past decade, the man was also involved in drafting EU and international standards for safety in construction equipment, like excavators and dump trucks.

The last six or so years have become more and more difficult for the doctor as he lost his mobility and had to start using a wheelchair.

However, he credits his workplace and his family for being supportive during this time and allowing him to carry on with his role.

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

Dr Arnold, now of Bridge of Allan, said: "My work and my family have been very supportive and that has allowed me to continue.

"I only just had to give up recently because I lost the function in my right hand, which means I can't write or put the headphones on for example.

"But, it has been an interesting and rewarding career."

Originally from the Wee County, he attended Tillicoultry Primary and later Alva Academy before graduating with a first class honours degree in mechanical engineering from Glasgow University.

Of his award, he added: "Initially I was very shocked to find out that I was nominated for this and that I was going to receive it.

"I now feel very humbled and proud at the same time."