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Serious Concerns about Management Conduct

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  • Serious Concerns about Management Conduct

    Hi, I'm in need of some advice and apologise in advance for the long post.

    I have less than 2 years service.

    I work for a company with a horrendous safety record. Last year a former HM Inspector of Health and Safety(who was working privately) was subcontracted to us for months. He said our safety record and incident rate was so bad we were heading for a fatality.

    I was recently appointed the spokesperson for my area for our employee focus group. Or as much boss called me "the ringleader".

    The main issues raised at the focus group was the safety record and the lack of health and safety and working conditions that don't meet HSE requirements. We also think the company are hiding serious accidents not even reporting them in-house and have not submitted RIDDOR reports for a number of incidents. They willingly allow employees to work in dangerous situations and conditions.

    Seven weeks after the meeting HR have neither answered our concerns or even provided the minutes from the meeting. The HR boss claims she is too busy.

    Now I've been the latest person to add myself to the serious accident list. I had fall into a machine that has ended up with serious cuts to my hand and unable to use my arm. I required surgery on my hand.

    My direct boss was pressing me whilst in hospital to make phone calls to conduct an investigation. She was aware I had been in hospital overnight, had no sleep, no privacy and was awaiting surgery. I had to refuse.

    As soon as I got out of hospital my manager was pressing me to attend work for an interview. I had to keep turning down the requests. I genuinely couldn't drive with one hand and the drugs made me drowsy. I had to keep repeating that, but my boss was warning me about a deadline to get an interview with me. It was pushy.

    After numerous requests to attend work I was then asked if my manager and HR could make a phone call outside of working hours. I politely declined highlighting I genuinely had plans. I told my manager not to phone and she accepted that request.

    A couple of Whatsapp messages later we agreed my attendance at work the following week. My boss said it was a 5 Why meeting.

    At the exact time I told my boss not to call I got a call from a unknown mobile number. I was in the middle of something, but due to worries at home, I answered it. It was my boss and the HR manager. The HR manager had never called me before. I felt the different number was to catch me out.

    It started off checking if I was ok. Could they do anything for me. Then they started asking if I was still off on holiday the following week. I hadn't requested holidays, but my boss was forcibly telling me I had. I made it clear I was injured and unable to work or enjoy a holiday.

    The following week I attended the 5 Whys meeting as requested by my boss on WhatsApp.

    It was with my boss and the HR manager. Quickly I realised this wasn't a 5 Whys meeting. It was obvious they were not listening to what I had do say. Anything I said was shouted over. There was high dispute over a missing safety device and the fact SOPs had been missing for a long time and only recently reprinted.

    I left the meeting really annoyed. I'm 100% confident that my boss is aware of the purpose of the safety device. They were part of the discussions for implementing it. My boss printed off the SOPs although she strongly argued she hadn't.

    Here is where it gets worse!!!!

    My boss had sent me a copy of the SOPs by email. She copied in the HR manager and the Health and Safety manager. Days later this email popped up with a message from the HR manager. The email only addressed my boss, highlighted they had made edits to the minutes, and signed off the email. The minutes to the meeting were attached.

    A few minutes later the HR manager attempted to recall the email. I had already opened and read the contents. The minutes genuinely had little representation of what was said and not said. They were completely false and missed out huge parts of my input. I've basically admitted I didn't follow the SOP and my actions caused the injury. I did not say what they have recorded me saying.

    The first justification for the minutes being sent was someone has requested them on my behalf. That was wrong. An email or two later and the HR manager said she had accidently sent the email too early. The minutes were irrelevant to the original email. I find it hard to believe that they created the email, addressed one person, typed a message, signed it, attached a file, then accidentally send it. I don't believe I was supposed to see the minutes hence the attempt to recall.


    I went back and added in many of the errors and added parts that were missed. I didn't get a response and haven't heard anything for days.

    As this has been ongoing I have asked to return to work. I deemed myself capable of doing some tasks. The HR manager has refused my request to return and said they will go by my fit note. I'm due to return, but nothing has been suggested about what I should do on my return.

    I have a horrible feeling they are in the process of aligning things up to sack me. I feel they are doing that to cover up the accident and their partial fault in it, and because I've been "the ringleader" in raising some very serious allegations against the company.


    Advice and assistance would be gratefully accepted.

    ​​​


    ​​



    Tags: None

  • #2
    It is difficult to provide advice when you do not know what if any action they are going to take.

    All I would say is make sure that you retain copies of all the information you feel details the health and safety issue that there are. It only seems you have been dealing with your boss and HR regarding the H&S issues? Do you have a H&S manager or a senior manager who has a responsibility for H&S as part of their role? If so have you reported or considered reporting your concerns to them?
    If you would like a one-to-one expert consultation with me on your employment issue than I can be contacted by emailing admin@legalbeaglesgroup.com

    I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
    If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


    You can’t always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

    You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



    If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

    Comment


    • #3
      We have a health and safety advisor in a temporary role currently. He reports to the health and safety manager.

      I think all the health and safety issues are well known by management. Pressing to have serious health and safety issues addressed usually comes with excuses about funding. We are a smaller branch of a large international company that is making huge profits.

      The accusations that the company is concealing incidents that should have been reported as a RIDDOR were made two months ago to the HR manager during an employee committee group meeting. We still haven't had answers or minutes from that meeting.

      It's the HR manager and my line manager I am dealing with. I have very strong concerns over the conduct of both of them. The company grievance procedure documents who to raise issues with. It doesn't highlight who to raise the issues with when it is the HR manager. The HR manager is the top of the grievance procedure chain.

      I have kept copies of absolutely everything.

      It's the minutes of the meeting that are the worst for me. They are totally inaccurate.

      I'm due to return to work, but I'm dreading it. I feel so uncomfortable about going back.

      Comment


      • #4

        Originally posted by Bear123 View Post
        We have a health and safety advisor in a temporary role currently. He reports to the health and safety manager.

        I think all the health and safety issues are well known by management. Pressing to have serious health and safety issues addressed usually comes with excuses about funding. We are a smaller branch of a large international company that is making huge profits.

        The accusations that the company is concealing incidents that should have been reported as a RIDDOR were made two months ago to the HR manager during an employee committee group meeting. We still haven't had answers or minutes from that meeting.

        It's the HR manager and my line manager I am dealing with. I have very strong concerns over the conduct of both of them. The company grievance procedure documents who to raise issues with. It doesn't highlight who to raise the issues with when it is the HR manager. The HR manager is the top of the grievance procedure chain.

        I have kept copies of absolutely everything.

        It's the minutes of the meeting that are the worst for me. They are totally inaccurate.

        I'm due to return to work, but I'm dreading it. I feel so uncomfortable about going back.

        You could always speak to Protect about thr Health and Safety issues and see it you can Whistleblow.
        Last edited by Benny8902; 1st April 2024, 12:16:PM.

        Comment


        • #5
          You would also be wise to read your company's Whistleblowing policy first. That should set out exactly what constitutes Whistleblowing and the process for doing so.

          One important criteria is that is must be in the interest of the public. I have linked to the government website below that provides useful information.

          https://www.gov.uk/whistleblowing
          If you would like a one-to-one expert consultation with me on your employment issue than I can be contacted by emailing admin@legalbeaglesgroup.com

          I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
          If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


          You can’t always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

          You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



          If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

          Comment


          • #6
            A number of the issues that were raised at the meeting with HR.

            They got subcontractors in to fix the roof. Two men were on the roof and were hammering. They used their angle grinder to cut through the roof. It sent asbestos fibres flying around workshop below. I was one of the employees that issued a stop work.

            The company said or done nothing about the incident. No clean up, no warning to the other shift. Silence. Disturbing an asbestos roof is automatically a RIDDOR if I read correctly.

            Over a year ago their was a survey conducted within the building. Numerous walls were deemed unsafe. Initially the areas were sealed off. After a while people were requested to work in those areas. A large wall collapsed luckily when nobody was at work. People are still working next to other walls they know are unsafe. Even in strong winds.

            The electricians carrying out the survey said that they would condemn the workshop as the electrics were so bad.

            Months later and employee received a serious electric shock turning on a switch. The wires were the wrong thickness and disintegrated over time inside the socket.

            The employee ended up in hospital and was off for weeks. We don't think this was reported as a RIDDOR.

            They reacted by turning off a lot of circuits and leaving employees working in dark conditions. They have renewed some parts of the electrical work, but know they still have more than half of the work to do and are stalling due to the cost.

            One of the electrical sockets fused in the area still requiring upgrade. Luckily the smoke was noticed before anyone touched that socket.


            It has been highlighted that the company are putting employees, visitors and subcontractors at risk.

            Challenging the company that they haven't reported serious incidents as RIDDOR surely falls into the illegal category?

            The HR manager is directly aware of the accusations.
            ​​​​​​

            Comment


            • #7
              Potentially it does so you need to take the advice given, to look at the company's Whistleblowing policy. Once you have done that, then you have the information to contact Protect's advice line who can help with what the best way of dealing with this would be, should you decide that you want to raise this further.



              If you would like a one-to-one expert consultation with me on your employment issue than I can be contacted by emailing admin@legalbeaglesgroup.com

              I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
              If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


              You can’t always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

              You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



              If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

              Comment


              • #8
                Here is some more information.

                Remember read the policy (don't send copies of any policy to yourself as you could be in breach of IT policies, so use mobile and take pictures of all the relevant policy which are needed - I would screenshot every single policy though) then contact https://protect-advice.org.uk/ and explain the situation to them as they can provide some useful information.


                Further, the below is some useful points;


                The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 (HSAWA 1974)


                The HSAWA 1974 encompasses your employer's [duties of care] to you, and your duties to your employer.

                Your employer has a [duty of care] for your workplace safety, and employees health and safety in work:

                S.2(1) To ensure the health, safety and welfare of employees:
                "It shall be the duty of every employer to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health, safety and welfare at work of all his employees."

                S.2(2)(a) To provide and maintain safe plant and equipment and safe systems of work:
                "The provision and maintenance of plant and systems of work that are, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe and without risks to health."

                S.2(2)(b) To ensure safe handling, transport, storage and use of articles and substances:
                "Arrangements for ensuring, so far as is reasonably practicable, safety and absence of risks to health in connection with the use, handling, storage and transport of articles and substances."

                S.2(2)(c) To provide necessary information, instruction, training and supervision:
                "The provision of such information, instruction, training and supervision as is necessary to ensure, so far as is reasonably practicable, the health and safety at work of his employees."

                S.2(2)(d) To provide a safe workplace and a safe means of access and egress:
                "So far as is reasonably practicable as regards any place of work under the employer's control, the maintenance of it in a condition that is safe and without risks to health and the provision and maintenance of means of access to and egress from it that are safe and without such risks."

                S.2(2)(e) To provide a safe working environment and adequate welfare facilities:
                "The provision and "maintenance" of a working environment for his employees that is, so far as is reasonably practicable, safe, without risks to health, and adequate as regards facilities and arrangements for their welfare at work."

                Your duties under the Health and Safety Work Act are:

                S.7 "It shall be the duty of every employee while at work to-

                (a) to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work; and.

                (b) as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with."

                The Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999 (MHSWR 1999)

                Risk Assessments At Work

                Much of what is encompassed within the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 is also enshrined within the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.

                (If it gets to ET stage but some useful information for a grievance)

                However, you have to be careful in invoking these Regulations within your Employment Tribunal claim, as Employment Tribunals have little or no jurisdiction to hear breaches of the Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations 1999.


                That said, if you are writing a letter of grievance to your employer, you should most certainly call to your employer's attention its [duties of care] under both of these two Statutory Acts & Regulations with regard to your occupational health.

                In so doing, you are placing the [burden] upon your employer to observe its [duty of care] to you. Where your employer [fails] to observe its duty of care to you can lead to things like resign and potentially claim constructive dismissal (Breach of Implied Term of Mutual Trust and Confidence).

                Also reporting your employer's breaches of its health and safety obligations to the Health and Safety Executive under the provision of S.43B of the Employment Rights Act 1996. What this does, is makes your employer liable for a whistleblowing claim in ET.



                And for any Grievance you submit. Use numbered points. Don't get emotional. Make your point and move on, and don't waffle throughout. Provide facts as you see them. And always sign off as 'Yours sincerely'
                Last edited by Benny8902; 1st April 2024, 15:27:PM.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks everyone.

                  Some of the other arguments raised is about heating and changing facilities.

                  The workshop does have bay doors that are often open during the day, but even when closed the heating provided can't maintain heat in the winter. There has been days where we are around 3-5° all shift.

                  There is a fight over diesel space heaters, but I don't think they are safe within an enclosed building.

                  I've had the managing director/plant manager stand in front of me denying the request to improve the heating. He works in the office block and not the workshop.

                  The health and safety manager suggests thermal PPE and taking additional breaks he claims the 13° minimum temperature for a rigourous place or work is a guideline, not actually a requirement.

                  The changing facilities are small, no privacy or seating.

                  I bet you're all thinking what a great place I work!!!

                  ​​

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Bear123 View Post
                    Thanks everyone.

                    Some of the other arguments raised is about heating and changing facilities.

                    The workshop does have bay doors that are often open during the day, but even when closed the heating provided can't maintain heat in the winter. There has been days where we are around 3-5° all shift.

                    There is a fight over diesel space heaters, but I don't think they are safe within an enclosed building.

                    I've had the managing director/plant manager stand in front of me denying the request to improve the heating. He works in the office block and not the workshop.

                    The health and safety manager suggests thermal PPE and taking additional breaks he claims the 13° minimum temperature for a rigourous place or work is a guideline, not actually a requirement.

                    The changing facilities are small, no privacy or seating.

                    I bet you're all thinking what a great place I work!!!

                    ​​
                    Just a reminder I am not a solicitor.

                    For the issues you've raised in post #9 I wouldn't bother raising those issues as they a minor. You want to focus on the strongest aspect of why you even want to raise the matter and "blow the whistle".



                    An example is below when you write a grievance.

                    However I would keep Point 2 and 3 and not change either of those Points. You would modify Point 1 once Protect has given you advice on how to craft the opening of your grievance so that you invoke both the grievance and whistleblowing policies and procedures correctly. And how to write effectively that you are blowing the whistle within the public interest and what for.


                    After point 3 you would outline in short statements all the facts and breaches of said acts.

                    Dear Sir/Madam,
                    1. Please accept this letter as an invocation of both the grievance and whistle blowing policies and procedures. XXXX

                      .
                    2. I am asking (employers name) to observe the implied term of 'mutual trust and confidence' and not act in a manner which would likely 'destroy' or seriously damage that trust and confidence'. I trust therefore, that (employer name) will observe the 'good faith performance'; and take 'reasonable and practicable steps'; to remedy the following grievances by adducing and eliciting the evidence to establish the facts. In raising the following matters, I am not making "allegations". For the avoidance of doubt, I am providing my employer with facts.

                      .
                    3. Furthermore, I am asking (employers name) to observe the ACAS Guidelines with regard to this process as whole. As such, I 'trust' that I will not be subjected to a 'detriment' and or 'detrimental treatment' for having exercise my statutory rights in invoking the above procedures.


                    The key is to gain control of the situation and give yourself sometime to breath during the process. The more you waffle the more they can rubbish your letter - which you don't want.

                    And from now on covert record everything. Just don't alert your employer. That way if this ends up within an Employment Tribunal you can use it to show whatever they might have said is not a 'true and accurate' reflection of what was actually discussed.
                    Last edited by Benny8902; 2nd April 2024, 02:20:AM.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      I turned up for my work this morning and was instantly taken aside. I'm suspended.

                      My boss said she did not expect me to attend work today, or she would have contacted me beforehand. My boss was sent my fit for work note and was part of the emails about returning to work.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Were you told what you have been suspended for?

                        You should get a letter setting out the whole situation regarding your suspension including what the allegations are, that you will be paid full pay whilst on suspension, unless your contract states differently, an approximate timescale for the investigation to be carried out and who your point of contact will be through this process.

                        If this letter has not been given you today it should be sent to you in the next few days.
                        If you would like a one-to-one expert consultation with me on your employment issue than I can be contacted by emailing admin@legalbeaglesgroup.com

                        I do my best to provide good practical advice, however I do so without liability.
                        If you have any doubts then do please seek professional legal advice.


                        You can’t always stop the waves but you can learn to surf.

                        You are braver than you believe, smarter than you think and stronger than you seem.



                        If we have helped you we'd appreciate it if you can leave a review on our Trust Pilot page

                        Comment


                        • #13

                          I have been suspended to protect the business and employee and unsure the smooth running of the disciplinary procedures. The HR manager is on holiday this week.


                          The decision was taken due to displaying potential unsafe working practices failing to comply with company and health and safety practices.

                          Also because of my reaction during the initial investigation.

                          I'm not sure what my reaction was. The only person being aggressive was my boss. She got angry when she didn't like my answer that included of the SOPs being recently printed off after they were found to be missing.

                          I asked who had made the decision to suspend me and was told it was corporate's decision.

                          The HR manager is on holiday this week.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            The period of suspension is one week. The HR manager is on holiday this week.

                            I'm on full pay.

                            The only mention about who to contact is Unum support services.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Bear123 View Post
                              I turned up for my work this morning and was instantly taken aside. I'm suspended.

                              My boss said she did not expect me to attend work today, or she would have contacted me beforehand. My boss was sent my fit for work note and was part of the emails about returning to work.
                              Did you return to work and you had an ongoing FitNote saying you are not fit for work? If not then don't worry about that.


                              I would 'protest' and 'challenge' the decision to suspend you once you have received the suspension letter. I would contact and ask for this letter to be provided today.


                              If they don't provide it then I would add in the specific part on "what" you remember was the exact reason for being suspended. I would also update the parts within "red" and submit the full letter, keeping in the points of law.


                              Then I would be straight on to Protect and I would be using what I wrote above in Post #10 and write a new letter which invokes the grievance and whistleblowing policies.


                              For the attachment, just change it from .pdf to .docx using either Microsoft Word or use a free tool online. You can also download and install Libreoffice which is a free version of Microsoft Word.


                              And submit the document from your personal email address. In the email state


                              Dear [Enter name],


                              Please find attached my letter regarding my suspension.


                              Please confirm receipt.


                              Yours sincerely


                              xxxx


                              And I will repeat do not be ambushed into accepting any personal telephone calls from your employer. If you do record everything that is said using another phone (And don't tell them you are doing so)


                              You need to make sure you submit the letter because if the worse comes and they dismiss you, then the courts will see you have protested the decision.


                              Just to confirm you are over 2 years service??
                              Last edited by Benny8902; 2nd April 2024, 13:40:PM.

                              Comment

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