Another investigation drags on

The UK Health and Safety Executive/ HSE has announced that it is taking over the investigation into the fatal explosion at the Redcar Teesworks site in September 2019 in which two men working from a truck mounted platform - John Mackay of Nationwide Platforms and Tommy Williams - were killed. See: Platform hit by explosion
John Mackay

Tommy Williams

The statement said: “Following a thorough joint investigation by Cleveland Police and HSE, there is insufficient evidence to support gross negligence manslaughter or corporate manslaughter charges. The families of the deceased have been informed of this decision.”

HSE principal inspector John Heslop added: “Although some of these developments are difficult for the families of John and Tom, I have assured them that the criminal investigation into their deaths remains ongoing. We also made it clear that our investigation will be a thorough one, while also recognising the desire for a speedy conclusion.”

“This remains a criminal investigation that Cleveland Police will continue to support.”

Vertikal Comment

It is always hard to understand why these investigations take so long. This case may be more complex than most, but even then, if the police have already determined that there is no evidence for a manslaughter charge, then what is left to investigate.

One can only hope that any information learnt has already been passed on to companies that carry out this sort of demolition work. It is about time industry associations pushed for greater openness in these investigations as well as a speedier approach. From our experience the longer the investigation goes on, the more useless it is. Very little is learnt once a month or two has passed since the incident occured.