This week Martin Esom the Chief Executive Officer of the London Borough of Waltham Forest was served a Notice of Contravention by the Health and Safety enforcement agency the HSE. The notice concerns the circumstances surrounding the death of a member of the public who died whilst in the Low Hall Conservation Area and involved a tree falling over.
Under section 28 of The Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 the HSE are required to give information to the employees of the organisation that are being investigated (in this case, Waltham Forest Council) about matters that affect their health and safety and as part of this informed the UNISON office.
Whilst it must be stressed that the matter is still under investigation by the HSE and comment surrounding the death of Mr Costazzo would be inappropriate at this time, it should also be stressed that the Contravention Notice cites sections 2(1) and 3(1) of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974 which pertains to the safety of the public and also to the safety of employees as they attend the Low Hall conservation area from time to time.
UNISON understands that remedial actions have been taken to the trees concerned that were described by the HSE as being “obviously defective trees that presented a serious risk to persons using the paths in the conservation area”
UNISON believes that our members should be vigilant at all times in respect of their own and others health and safety. In these times of austerity and cuts to the HSE, health and safety can easily be overlooked by our employers. It is every UNISON members right to go home at the end of their working day uninjured, healthy and well.