Monday, 22 October 2012

Health and safety on trial

One of our lawyers has been helping construction industry firms experience the harsh reality of ignoring health and safety rules.

Tina Chander is working with the Health and Safety Executive, and the Working Well Together initiative to help improve awareness of the guidelines.

And now she has taken part in mock trials at Telford Magistrates Court and Stoke-on-Trent Magistrates Court acting on behalf of the Health and Safety Executive.

"We're very pleased to have been involved in such an interactive experience and hope the construction firms who attended took away some sound advice that could change their opinions," said Tina.

"The trials were a great opportunity for them to learn more about health and safety in the construction industry through a practical session that really brought home the consequences of ignoring important rules."

In each mock trial, the case involved a worker who had been injured by an underground electricity cable, and a prosecution against his employers.

"As directors or senior managers, our delegates need to make sure things go right for their business every day. Our mock trial explained what can happen when things go wrong and a worker is injured.

"HSE prosecuted not only the employer but also the managing director and delegates experienced the whole criminal trial procedure.

"In reality, the magistrates would judge the case on the facts and arguments presented to them by prosecution and defence lawyers, but at our events, the audience decided the verdict for themselves. We ended with a discussion of the verdict and its implications, and the legal team also took questions from delegates about the process."

The mock trials were run as part of the Working Well Together project - a construction industry initiative to improve health adn safety in the sector, particularly for small and micro-sized businesses.

The project runs through a network of regional groups who stage events designed to provide information on a wide range of construction industry topics and issues with support from the Health and Safety Executive.