Long-serving HSE Principal Inspector Ray Cooke has been appointed the No Falls Foundation’s first Health & Safety Advisor.
Ray joins the height safety Foundation after 35 years with HSE, latterly as HM Principal Inspector and Head of the Construction Sector Regulatory Support Team in the Building Safety and Construction Division.
Joining HSE straight from university as a trainee inspector in 1985, Ray served in a number of increasingly senior positions in a variety of industry sectors, including shipbuilding, plastics, food, fairgrounds and, most recently, construction.
Appointed a Principal Inspector in 1999, his roles have included, amongst others, 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.
Following his appointment, Ray said: “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.”
Peter Bennett, chair of the trustees added: “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 Foundation has recently updated its website with the introduction of a new Support Pack signposting a number of contacts and resources available to provide advice and assistance following a fall from height.