Minutes: 18th of April 2019 – The Group

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There were 20 members and guests present at the meeting. Robert Bradford advised that at this meeting we would be discussing the way forward for the Group.

Roy Jackson gave a brief description of the Group which was formed after a number of Scottish safety officers were called together by Mr Wade H.M. District Inspector of Factories “to discuss common problems, exchange ideas, information, techniques etc.. with the underlying motive being to help safety officers increase their knowledge and experience and thereby improve their own firms performance on site”.  Mr Sparkes writing on behalf of Mr Wade advised that the Factories Inspectorate would attend the meeting in an informal capacity and that the meetings should be informal. The first meeting was held on the 25th of April 1969 and was chaired by Mr Wade. It was agreed at this meeting that the meetings should not clash with the IISO meetings (IOSH). At a later date IOSH and the SCSG agreed dates for meetings with the SCSG, at a later date being allocated the second last Thursday of each month – a date that is still used.

The Group has always tried to hold events that meet the criteria listed above and have tried to help SME’s when requested after HSE interventions. Since those early days until last October there has generally been a presence from the HSE but in November we were advised that the HSE could no longer attend due to staff shortages and a change in focus.

The following points were discussed:-
• The non-attendance of the HSE as all felt that the benefits were two way. The Group gained an understanding of the workings of the HSE whilst the HSE received intelligence and gained an understanding of best practices in the industry.
• The time spent by members of the Group and from industry in general assisting with Working well Together initiatives such as SHADS where many make time from very busy schedules to assist the HSE reach the smaller end of the business. This includes time spent by procurement teams from companies who advertise the events.
• Time spent by the industry on committees such as Site Safe Scotland which the Group has actively participated in since its inception in the mid 1980’s.
• The launch of CDM 2015 jointly with CECA where we donated all of the profits to the lighthouse Club (the construction charity)
• Membership fees where it was explained that we do not charge membership fees because of the problems getting payment and the difficult gaining access to preferred supplier status do to pre-tender evaluations being applied. The way we gain finances to survive is to run an event every so often which members are encouraged to attend.
• The meeting format was discussed; a number of options were considered but we settled on the current format and content.
• The web-page which is only updated occasionally. A request for a web master was made and John Feeley of BAM Nuttall volunteered for uploading the minutes and calendar.
• Other electronic communications such as linked in, facebook etc. was discussed although there was no clear agreement.
• Involvement of members as it was felt that more assistance could be provided
• Data protection Act – where we advised that all correspondence is sent blind copy and we advised that speakers are not given contact information
• Graeme Johnstone of the Robertson Group, Ricky Guy of Farrans and Scott Harvey of MacKenzie Construction have volunteered to help with the Group’s organisation.

Actions from the discussion were:-
• Roy Jackson is to contact Sarah Shore to try to get her to attend a meeting and also to allow Inspectors to participate.
• Roy Jackson is to contact other Groups with a view to reducing meeting clashes.
• John Feeley to update the web pages.
• John Feeley to attempt to identify a way to place meeting dates in members calendars without compromising data security

Post meeting note
At the Site Safe Scotland meeting on the 13th of May the HSE announced that they would likely respond to a specific invitation in recognition that the Group has always represented a strong peer to peer support group with a wide circulation membership and links providing significantly better opportunity for messages to get to the sector of our industry that is the particular target for the HSE i.e. fewer than 15 employees