Following his retirement from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) at the end of September, Ray Cooke has kindly agreed to lend his invaluable and extensive experience to the No Falls Foundation, serving as its Health and Safety Advisor.
The No Falls Foundation is the UK’s only charity devoted exclusively to the work at height sector.
Ray was with HSE for 35 years, latterly as HM Principal Inspector and Head of the Construction Sector Regulatory Support Team in the Building Safety and Construction Division.
He joined HSE in 1985 straight from university, taking the role of trainee inspector. He served in a number of increasingly senior positions in a variety of industry sectors, including shipbuilding, plastics, food, fairgrounds and, most recently, construction.
Ray became a Principal Inspector in 1999, with roles including advocating the UK’s policy position in Brussels regarding ATEX, the European Directive for protecting people in potentially explosive atmospheres, running HSE’s Operational Construction Team in the West Midlands, and developing training courses for a postgraduate diploma for HSE inspectors in conjunction with the University of Warwick.
Since 2014 he has headed the HSE’s Regulatory Support Team helping and supporting inspectors and industry at large with guidance designed to ensure compliance with the law, including responsibility for HSE’s Working Well Together (WWT) campaign.
At the Foundation he will initially focus on securing support for the implementation of the recommendations of the 2019 inquiry report of the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Working at Height, in particular the need for enhanced RIDDOR reporting and the appointment of an independent body for the confidential reporting of near misses.
Comments Ray: “I have spent my entire career helping keep people safe at work. By accepting this post I hope to apply my experience and expertise, not just on a local and regional level, but nationally to help reduce injuries and fatalities in the work at height sector.”
Says Peter Bennett, chair of the trustees: “We are naturally delighted to have Ray as the Foundation’s first Health & Safety Advisor. His enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment to height safety will undoubtedly prove invaluable to the future work of the charity”.
The No Falls Foundation also offers a Support Pack on its website, enabling people to get the help they need for themselves or a loved one following a fall from height.
As with all organisations that exist to keep workers in the construction and FM sectors safe, the No Falls Foundation is an important ally of SAEMA (Specialist Access Engineering and Maintenance Association). Its aims include adherence to safe and best practice for the provision of access to buildings and other structures for the purposes of cleaning and maintenance; and co-operating with other organisations, specialist bodies and institutions involved in the provision and maintenance of façade access systems and equipment.
SAEMA counts a number of the industry’s major building access specialists as its members; all are allied in the aim of reducing and ultimately eliminating accidents. COVID-19 has brought a wave of new challenges as well as opportunities and SAEMA exists to give its support individuals and organisations.