Managers and supervisors in this industry must take active steps to ensure their electricians work safely ” 

The role of line managers and supervisors is key to ensuring safe systems of work are put into practice as opposed to just existing on paper. And that is true of any industry, not just the electrical contracting industry in which Michael lost his life.

Yet, all too often Louise hears on her travels that line managers and supervisors are referred to as the layer of permafrost between leadership and the workforce, where the “safety 1st” message, gets diluted, dissipated or forgotten.

As a leader, what answers would you get if you asked your line managers and supervisors these three questions:

  1. What could you ask of your team that would better enable you to send them home safe and healthy at the end of every working day or night?

  2. What could senior management do differently or better to help you do your job in keeping people safe and healthy?

  3. What will you do differently or better to keep your people safe and healthy?

If you’re unsure what the answers would be, why not find out? These are the questions Louise poses during a workshop aimed at convincing line managers and supervisors of their roles in leading health and safety in your organisation.

Health and Safety Workshop for Line Managers and Supervisors

This immersive workshop is based around a real-life health and safety trial - that of Michael’s employer - which Louise, her parents, and Michael’s fiancée sat through. Nearly 4 weeks of evidence was given, the Mechanical Project Manager and the Electrical Supervisor’s evidence forms the basis of the workshop.

Louise’s 13 years’ experience working as an employment lawyer in a top-ranked firm enables her to bring a unique mix of insights when delivering this workshop, both personal and professional.

Louise has put aside her own pain, discomfort (in having to retell his story over and over again) and career in the law to encourage those who work in dangerous environments to look after themselves so that no one else has to go through what her and her family have losing her brother.
— Nomination for SHP's Most Influential Person in Health and Safety Award

What are the aims of the workshop?

The key aim of the workshop is to explore the role of supervisors and line managers in the effective management of health and safety. This is based upon electrical safety at work but the sentiment carries over across all industries.

The HSE says these roles are “important in implementing effective controls. Because of the regular contact they have with workers, they can make an important contribution to making sure everyone knows how to work safely and without risk to their health, and that all workers follow the organisation’s rules.

Louise works to overcome her own grief at losing her brother, who was electrocuted at his work, each time she addresses workers, managers, unions, safety professionals. She is committed to not only telling his story but telling why he died and what could and should have been done to prevent it.
— Nomination for SHP's "Most Influential Person in Health and Safety" Award

There is a need for coaching, helping and guiding workers. But it should also be noted that there is a need to reinforce the responsibility of senior management and leadership teams in ensuring that the supervisor/line manager role can be carried out to the best of a person’s abilities.

The workshop will therefore explore why her wee brother died and will look at what could (and should) have been done to prevent it, looking to ensure that lessons can be learned within your organisation.

Will the workshop be interactive?

The workshop has been described earlier in this page as “ immersive”. The reason?

Attendees take on the “roles” of those who took part in the trial of Michael’s employer.

  • 1 judge

  • 2 witnesses

  • 3 accused

  • Up to 4 family members

  • Up to 6 (count them!), yes, 6 lawyers

  • Up to 15 jury members

The workshop can therefore be tailored for between 15 and 31 attendees. 

Over the course of 4 hours, the evidence given by the Mechanical Project Manager and the Electrical Supervisor will be analysed and dissected.

What did Michael’s employer get wrong? What did it get right? What lessons can you learn? And what role do line managers and supervisors have to play in ensuring nothing similar ever happens in your workplace?

The witnesses will give evidence and be cross-examined, all scripted as it has been drawn from Louise’s notes of the actual trial.

Would it not be better to use actors for the role play?

It might be better to use actors if the point was to get a polished role play.  However, that's not the point!  

How would it feel having to sit in the witness box or in the dock? 

How would it feel to watch colleagues - friends! - having to give evidence? 

Could you put yourselves in the shoes of the family who have lost their loved one as a result of your employer's action or inaction?   

The aim behind having you do it in a controlled environment is to ensure you don't have to ever do it in real-life. 

Louise has carefully, intelligently and with immense thought and care crafted the account of her brother’s death...with the details of the legal process and trial, with personal details of her brother and his love of life, linked to the personal impact of his death on herself, her parents and family.
— Hilda Palmer - Greater Manchester Hazards Centre

How much does the workshop cost?

A half day workshop cost is between £1,500 and £2,300 + VAT.

  • £1,500 is the basic starting cost for the minimum 15 attendees.

  • £50 will be charged for each additional attendee, up to a maximum of 31 attendees in total and a cost of £2,300.

A full day workshop cost is between £2,700 and £4,140 + VAT.

  • £2,700 is the basic starting cost for the minimum 15 attendees.

  • £90 will be charged for each additional attendee, up to a maximum of 31 attendees in total and a cost of £4,140.

 In addition, travel and accommodation will be charged.