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‘Don’t fall for it’: Construction company directors invited to witness live PACE interview

Date:
31 October 2013

If a worker you were responsible for was killed or injured at work, how would you feel about being interviewed under caution by health and safety inspectors?

The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) is inviting representatives of the construction industry to an event showing how company representatives may be interviewed should an employee be injured while working for them.

Working Well Together, a campaign put in place to improve health and safety in the construction industry, is organising the half day event – ‘Wrong Direction, Don’t Fall for It’ – at the Lumb Farm Country Club in Ripley, Derbyshire, on Friday 6 December.

Falls continue to be the biggest cause of fatal injury in Britain’s workplaces, and account for more than half of construction workplace deaths.  In 2012/13, 25 of the 47 worker deaths in construction were the result of a fall from height. On top of this, more than 4,000 major injuries such as broken bones or fractured skulls are reported to HSE each year by the construction industry.  More than half of these serious injuries involve falls from height or from tripping over materials on walkways and are easily preventable.

Presented by HSE inspectors and lawyers, a director of a fictional company will be interviewed under Police and Criminal Evidence (PACE) conditions in front of the audience. The scenario: an employee has fallen from height, through a fragile roof, and HSE is questioning operations director for a local warehouse company, Andy Cartridge, before deciding whether to prosecute the company for safety breaches.

The operations director will also be cross examined by a barrister before the barrister and the lawyer, Hayley Saunders from Shoosmiths, take questions from the floor.

HSE Visiting Officer, Ian Weekes, explained:

“Protecting the health and safety of employees and/or members of the public, who may be affected by construction activities, is an essential part of risk management and must be led by those at the top.

“Failure to include health and safety as a business risk in key decisions can have catastrophic results.

“Those who come along will be able to see first-hand what it is like for a representative of the company to face questioning under PACE conditions, and the implications for those involved.

“It’ll be a real eye opener for those attending, giving a detailed insight into what happens when someone has to answer to HSE because a worker has been injured.”

Those attending the event, to be held 8.30am to 1pm, will be entered into a prize draw with the winner having the opportunity to take up a Site Safety Plus-accredited course, Director’s Role for Health and Safety’, which has been donated by CITB National Construction College.

For more information or to book a place at £25 per head contact HSE visiting officer Ian Weekes on 0115 971 2871 or email ian.weekes@hse.gsi.gov.uk

Notes to editors

1. The Health and Safety Executive is Britain’s national regulator for workplace health and safety. It aims to reduce death, injury and ill health. It does so through research, information and advice, promoting training, new or revised regulations and codes of practice, and working with local authority partners by inspection, investigation and enforcement. www.hse.gov.uk

2. HSE information and news releases can be accessed at: www.hse.gov.uk/press

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