H&S failure lessons learnt in mock court case
In the dock: the mock trial in progress
A mock trial was staged by the CIOB Southampton Hub and legal firm Blake Morgan in July to take members through the implications of a health and safety breach case.
The event was staged in full crown court dress, with the use of photographs of the fictitious site.
The Blake Morgan team comprised Robin Havard as judge, Simon White as clerk, Claire Rawle acted as the prosecution advocate and Tom Walker acted for the fictional defendant company with the director played by Tim Williamson.
The fictional scenario was a deficient site which had been visited by the HSE, and subject to enforcement action, which the defendants had ignored. Whilst no injuries had resulted, the enforcement had focused on the risk of harm created by poor site organisation and planning in relation to logistics and deliveries, poor traffic management, and poor fire risk controls.
As a result of the failures, the defendants were prosecuted under the CDM Regulations 2015.
“A key message is to appreciate that enforcement is increasingly holistic – examining how health and safety risks can be created at inception as well as during the construction phase itself,” says Tom Walker.