Directors Harrowing Insight into Workplace Death
In our latest brief Thomas Carroll Management Services highlight the harrowing story of a former construction director.
Matthew Hazelton spoke at the recent Safety and Health Expo 2017 about his personal journey following a workplace incident where two of his brothers and two other colleagues died.
He said the incident left him ‘having to deal with things you don’t think you will ever have to deal with’ – and that he struggled with the attention of the media and funeral organisations.
Hazelton said: ‘While I was trying to deal with the personal side of things, I then had to realise I had to deal with the legal side of things.’
‘The legal process also meant that he couldn’t speak to his work colleagues and friends as they weren’t allowed the same barrister or solicitor and ‘when you really want to be close to your mates, you are being dragged apart’.
He warned about timelines following such an event – in his case it took six and a half years before the verdict of accidental death.
Hazelton also talked about the personal toll on his own mental health. Despite continuing in the construction industry, he could never get over the incident.
‘I could never recreate the old construction firm vibe and I kept getting angrier.’
‘My wife had stood by me, but when she left, then the wheels really came off and I started drinking and doing drugs.’
Things came to a head when he had a collision with a transit van at 60mph.
‘I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to do anything. When I have to go to see my mother on mother’s day – I will always feel guilt.’
‘It’s something I have to live with every day as the client has to, and the main contractor does.’
He summed up that the effect it has is on a personal level and a legal level, and on his children and family.
‘The effects will be felt for the rest of their lives.’
‘Was there enough pre-planning by us? No. That is something I will have to live with.’
‘I really hope that none of you have to make those phone calls, because if you do, your lives will never, ever be the same again.’
Hazelton now works for Proud2bSafe, whose aim is to get people to change the way people think about safety. For further information, please visit www.p2bs.org
Call: 02920 887733