Phone calls about Euromin

Transcripts of phone calls made on 15 February 1999 between the Simon Jones Memorial Campaign and Chris Barringer, Health and Safety Officer for south coast docks, and Sean Currey, worker at Euromin and witness to Simon’s death

Phone call between SJMC and Chris Barringer

CB Prohibition notices are permanent. It’s prohibiting a particular a action or operation. 

SJMC I’ve heard that people are working under that excavator. Would that be a breach of that notice?

CB Really, I mean, I’m sorry, but you’re wasting an awful lot of my time with this. You’ve said various things about you’ve been told this and you’ve been told that and I’ve told you before that I deal with fact and evidence. The prohibition notice states that the liebherr 984 shouldn’t be used ‘in an area where other persons may be at risk’ which means other persons in the working area, the working area of the grab.

SJMC So if the excavator was working and people were, say, within, five feet of the..

CB The working area of the grab.

SJMC What’s the working area of the grab – roughly, is it twenty yards or two feet or…?

CB Within the working area of the grab, that is within an area of danger. 

SJMC Is that within the area the grab could reach?

CB Yeah. Any area of danger. ‘The working area of the grab’ and that’s quoting from the prohibition notice. (it’s not)

SJMC I’ve reported to you what Sean Currey’s told me that they’ve actually been…

CB I’ve followed up on all the issues that Sean Currey has raised.

SJMC And you’re satisfied that this isn’t happening, that the Prohibition Notice isn’t being breached?

CB Are you suggesting that if I wasn’t happy I wouldn’t have done anything about it? Are you suggesting that if I was aware that something was going on that shouldn’t have been I wouldn’t have done something about it? I’ve told you before I deal with fact and evidence.

SJMC How do you get hold of the facts, that’s what I’m trying to find out?

CB I investigate.

SJMC Do you consider that you’ve done enough investigation into this?

CB I’ve investigated any issues which have been raised concerning this company (Euromin). You coming to me and saying that somebody else has told you something, okay, I’ve investigated any issues which have been raised in relation to this company as and when they’ve come along.

SJMC I’m aware of that, but you’ve said it’s impossible for you to be there all the time so there are limits to what you can do. If you turned up they may be able to change their practice at the time.

CB I don’t always go straight in there, you can see what’s going on from the far side of the harbour.

SJMC So as far as you’re concerned you feel this prohibition notice isn’t being breached?

CB I have been there, I have looked, I have watched, I have checked as often as I can, I have also asked very specific questions of people there. As far as I am aware that prohibition notice is not being breached.

SJMC So Sean must be mistaken in what he’s saying?

CB As I said to you before, one person says one thing and one person says another, I can only deal with fact and evidence. 

SJMC But surely a statement from someone who works there and says this is happneing on a regular basis, doesn’t that count as evidence?

CB It counts as much as evidence as what other people say is happening here.

SJMC Statements like that are evidence presumably?

CB I can take statements from whoever I wish to take statements from, statements are taken under oath, or can be, and can used in court. They are taken under a proper procedure, under a caution where necessary, to investigate anything of this sort.

SJMC Do you feel you’ve got enough resources to do this?

CB I’m not going to get into this. I am very busy. I’ve answered the questions you’ve asked me several times and I really can’t say any more than I’ve said already.

SJMC Thanks very much.

Phone call between SJMC and Sean Currey

SJMC You know the prohibition notice that says that you couldn’t use the Liebherr 984 in an area where other persons may be at risk?

SC It said you can’t work near it but it didn’t actually say how far you had to be. 

SJMC So how far were people working from it?

SC Within one, two feet.

SJMC How often was that happening?

SC Frequently, I’d say.

SJMC Every week, every day?

SC Yeah, every time we were working with it basically. It goes on every day. You’re working in that sort of situation.

SJMC I’ve talked to Chris Barringer and she seems satisfied that it’s not happening at all. Have you talked to Chris Barringer about this?

SC She was supposed to be coming down but apparently she got the flu or a cold.

SJMC So she knows about your concerns about this prohibition notice being breached?

SC Yeah.

SJMC Has she ever asked you for a sworn statement about it?

SC She was supposed to be coming down but like I say she didn’t show up.

SJMC Are you saying that on a weekly basis people work within a few feet of that excavator?

SC It’s one of those things, you’ve got to do to do the job.