No Falls Foundation appoints two new trustees

No Falls Foundation

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We’ve appointed two new trustees!
Clive Johnson
Clive Johnson

We’re delighted to welcome Clive Johnson and Steffan Groch to our board of trustees.

Clive Johnson is Group Head of Health and Safety at Derwent London PLC and currently President of the International Institute of Risk and Safety Management (IIRSM). He sits on the Building Safety Committee of the Construction Industry Council and the Executive Committee of the Health in Construction Leadership Group.

Awarded the Freedom of the City of London for his work on health, safety and security, he was most recently asked by the Cabinet Office to be part of their Inclusive Economy Partnership Programme focusing on mental health.

Steffan Groch
Steffan Groch

Steffan Groch is a partner and Head of Regulatory, Compliance and Investigations at international law firm DWF Solicitors based in Manchester. A leading expert in the health and safety sector, he is a former chair of the Health & Safety Lawyer’s Association, the professional association for solicitors and barristers practicing in areas connected with health and safety.

Steffan was asked to contribute to the House of Commons Justice Select Committee on subjects such as sentencing guidelines, and is commended as ‘Best in UK’ in Chambers and Partners and The Legal 500.

Charity manager, Hannah Williams, said: “We are delighted to welcome both Clive and Steffan to the charity. Their knowledge and breadth of experience in their respective fields will be invaluable to the future work of the Foundation.”

Copyright 2021 No Falls Foundation l All rights reserved l Registered Charity Number 1177494

APPG report: May 2021

APPG on Working at Height

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APPG report: May 2021

The All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height was delighted to welcome Sarah Newton, chair of the HSE, and Dr Helen Bamforth, project director for the HSE’s Discovering Safety campaign, to its April meeting.

This article was written by the APPG’s secretariat, Connect.

Since last writing, the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height was pleased to hold its Annual General Meeting, and first virtual session of 2021, on Tuesday 20 April. This saw fantastic support from cross-party politicians, who returned as officers of the Group, including Alison Thewliss MP (SNP, Glasgow Central) who continues as Chair.

The focus for the session was the new campaign launched by the Health and Safety Executive (HSE), Discovering Safety, which aims to deliver health and safety benefits through a “data-driven global community”. The Group were fortunate to secure Sarah Newton, Chair of the HSE as a guest speaker, who was joined by Dr Helen Balmforth, Project Director for the Discovering Safety campaign.

Using data insights, the HSE hope to improve health and safety performance and reduce workplace deaths. Sarah Newton explained that the success of the campaign will depend on partnerships with academia and industry, combining scientific expertise and knowledge, to ensure the HSE remain proactive rather than reactive. She encouraged attendees to get in touch with the HSE via the dedicated Discovering Safety website to identify how they can become involved.

The HSE has already completed phase one of the campaign, which looked at proving the concept. The second phase will develop sustainable outputs and is focused on construction. Phase three, due to start in 2022, will focus on maximising reach with other sectors. To read the full minutes of this meeting or for more information, please visit the APPG website.

The next meeting of the Group will be held prior to the summer recess in Parliament and the No Falls Foundation will be presenting on the No Falls Charter. APPG proceedings are expected to continue online until at least the end of June.

If you’d like to find out more or sign-up to the mailing list, please email appgworkingatheight@connectpa.co.uk.

APPG on Working at Height

APPG on Working at Height

This article was written by Connect, the secretariat for the APPG on Working at Height's secretariat.

Copyright 2021 No Falls Foundation l All rights reserved l Registered Charity Number 1177494

Investigating falls from height

Investigating falls from height

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Investigating falls from height

Our health & safety advisor and ex-HSE inspector, Ray Cooke, stresses the importance of learning the necessary lessons in the aftermath of an accident. “It’s not just a moral argument, it makes sound business sense too,” says Ray.

Written by Ray Cooke, Health & Safety Advisor at No Falls Foundation

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Should you ever find yourself in the unfortunate situation that one of your workers has an accident at work then it is critical that you properly investigate what happened and why, so you can learn necessary lessons to prevent any further incident. 

This isn’t just a moral argument; it makes very sound business sense too. Accidents cost money, whether that’s in compensation, increased insurance premiums, cost of rectifying damage, regulatory investigation and enforcement, reputational damage and consequent loss of business, or whatever.

And please do not think your insurance policy covers all this. Past HSE research suggested for every £1 you got back from your insurance company, there was anywhere between £8 – 36 uninsured cost. That might be the difference between staying in business or going under.  

Carrying out your own health and safety investigations will provide you with a deeper understanding of the risks associated with your work activities. Blaming individuals is ultimately fruitless and sustains the myth that accidents are unavoidable when the opposite is true.

Unfortunately, when an incident occurs too many are blinded by immediate causes. For example, “we gave him the training, but he ignored it”. To dig deeper and really establish the root cause you need to find out why the training was ignored. Were they trained but then not given the right equipment; or were there inadequate maintenance systems in place for correctly selected equipment; or had any custom and practice developed amongst the workforce or supervisors such that training was ignored; was the training just a ‘bums on seats’ exercise without actually checking those attending actually understood and could apply what they were being taught? 

I appreciate that for smaller businesses investigation might be something they’ve never had to do before or very infrequently, but don’t worry as there is plenty of guidance out there to help. HSE has published a very helpful workbook aimed at employers, unions, safety representatives and safety professionals – HSG 245 Investigating accidents and incidents (available free to download at www.hse.gov.uk).

An effective investigation requires a methodical, structured approach to information gathering, collation and analysis and the workbook sets out a straightforward 4-stage process to help you achieve this. The findings of the investigation should then form the basis of your action plan to prevent the accident or incident from happening again and for improving your overall management of risk. Your findings will also point to areas of your risk assessments that need to be reviewed.

It can be quite uncomfortable for an employer to look at themselves in this way but if you do not and don’t learn necessary lessons then you risk incidents occurring again and again. Indeed, how can anyone claim they are really running and managing their business if they do not properly investigate and learn lessons?

As an ex-HSE Inspector I should point out that once the HSE are involved in an accident investigation they will be looking at underlying and root causes. It’s far better to do so yourselves, learn lessons, implement improvements and avoid further incidents. 

Ray Cooke

Ray Cooke

Ray recently retired after 35 years with the Health and Safety Executive, finishing his career as Principal Inspector in charge of the construction division’s sector safety team. He's now Health & Safety Advisor for No Falls Foundation.

Copyright 2021 No Falls Foundation l All rights reserved l Registered Charity Number 1177494