QC issues report on 2016 incident at Cormac Grampound Road Depot


Mr Dominic Adamson QC of Temple Garden Chambers has issued his report, commissioned jointly by Corserv and Cornwall Council, in respect of an incident that occurred on 16 December 2016 at the Cormac Grampound Road Depot.

The incident, which caused life changing injuries to a Cormac employee, became the subject of allegations that the incident and subsequent actions on the part of Cormac/Corserv were “covered up”. Mr Adamson QC was appointed to undertake an independent review to investigate and answer the questions set out in published Terms of Reference.

His investigation found no evidence that the incident had been “covered up". Although Mr Adamson QC was not able to determine conclusively the cause of the incident, his Review did find shortcomings in the way the incident had been reported to the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) insofar as the nature of the injury so reported was inaccurate.

The report also found shortcomings in Health and Safety investigation procedures within Cormac which, although not contributing to the incident itself, did delay timely reporting to the HSE.

Since the incident, Cormac has reviewed and overhauled its safety procedures and has received confirmation from the HSE that no enforcement action in respect of the incident was considered necessary.

In a statement issued by Corserv, Cormac’s parent company, Mr Pete Andrew, Chairman of Corserv said:

“We want to thank Mr Adamson QC for the thoroughness of his Review; we acknowledge the shortcomings he found. We have always been mindful of the impact of this incident on our former employee whose life was changed by this incident.

The fact that no definite conclusions could be found regarding the cause of the incident is disappointing but it was important that we took this additional review to examine events surrounding the incident and Cormac’s / Corserv’s response to it, to ensure that the safety of our employees is never compromised.

Since this incident in 2016, Cormac/Corserv have made a number of substantial improvements in the management of the reporting of Health & Safety within both organisations which Mr Adamson highlighted in his report.

We will ensure that the recommendations as outlined in Mr Adamson’s report are fully implemented”.

In a statement issued by Cornwall Council, Councillor Linda Taylor, the Leader of Cornwall Council said:

“I’m grateful to Mr Adamson for conducting his review of this unfortunate incident and identifying areas where there were shortcomings. Nothing is more important than employee safety, and I’m encouraged to see that improvements have been made in the way health and safety issues are reported within Corserv.

Of course, we must not lose sight of the life-changing impact this incident has had on the individual involved, so I too am disappointed that no conclusions were drawn regarding the cause. Nevertheless, it was important to carry out this additional review in order to examine the facts and identify areas where lessons can be learned.”

Report - Grampound Review

Appendices - Grampound Review