Today it has emerged that this investigation may now have been completed. In a report to be discussed by Thanet Council’s Cabinet meeting on 22nd October, it is noted that “the Health and Safety of our staff, residents, visitors, and volunteer and community groups is a key priority and we have undertaken a fundamental review of how this is managed and controlled in partnership with an external advisor. This is part of a culture change to ensure that we fully understand what out statutory responsibilities are and that suitable controls are in place to protect staff and the public”. The statement that the Council needs to “fully understand what our statutory (heath and safety) responsibilities are and that suitable controls are in place protect staff and the public” suggests to me that it is highly likely that those staff who have contracted vibration white finger, may have done so because of the neglect of Thanet Council and some of its managers who either didn't know or didn't care less about what the law said on this matter. If this is true then Thanet Council could be forced to pay our £millions in legal fees, compensation and fines in what is likely to become one of the biggest local authority health and safety scandals in many years. Its worth bearing in mind that such massive payments are unlikely to be covered by the council insurance policies which are likely to be invalidated if TDC has failed to follow legal requirement in managing the health and safety of its staff.
I have asked for a copy of the of the health and safety review report but my request has been turned down by council officers. This refusal is, in my view, a disgraceful effort to cover up what is an extremely serious matter which the public and council staff have a right to know about! I trust that if the affected staff are being represented by trade union, that its legal team will be demanding a copy of this report.