Event archive

Event Organiser: ICE

The Great Debate: This house believes health and safety in the UK has gone too far, Belfast

  • Lecture
  • Belfast
  • 05 March 2018
  • 18:15 - 20:00
The Great Debate: This house believes health and safety in the UK has gone too far, Belfast

About this event

Isambard Kingdom Brunel travels through time to team up with his new pal Jeremy Clarkson, to support the Motion in The Great Debate - This House Believes Health & Safety in the UK has Gone Too Far.

Brunel (AKA Charlie Hutchison) and Jeremy (AKA Andrew Cooke) will argue that the UK has become a nanny state with far too much Health & Safety. They will argue the world has gone mad – is it really acceptable that children have to wear goggles when playing conkers? Why are plasters are no longer allowed in first aid kits? And now bars can no longer supply salt and lime with tequila!

Opposing the Motion is Jill Given, a professional motorcyclist, and Nick Fletcher, a world class surfer, both sports recognised as dangerous but whose participants manage the risks effectively. Jill and Nick will argue that sensible Health & Safety has to be at the core of a modern caring society, and that the legal framework we have in place is there to protect individuals in the workplace from unscrupulous employers who would otherwise take advantage of those under their control.

The debate structure will be as follows:

  • Charlie Hutchison, 10 minutes
  • Nick Fletcher, 10 minutes
  • Andrew Cooke, 10 minutes
  • Jill Given, 10 minutes
  • Q&A, 15-20 minutes
  • Charlie Hutchison, 3 minute summary
  • Nick Fletcher, 3 minute summary

The event will conclude with an audience vote and the announcement of the winning side.

Refreshments will be served from 5:30pm, with the event starting at 6:15pm.


Charlie Hutchison MBE BSc, LLB, CEng FICE, CFIOSH, MCQI CQP, Cert CII, RMaPS

Charlie Hutchison is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers and a Fellow of the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health, he says he built the Channel Tunnel and the Cross Harbour Road & Rail Links in Belfast, but he didn't really.

For the last 17 years he has been Principal of Charles Hutchison Consulting (CHC) which is one of N Irelands leading Health & Safety training consultancies. CHC specialises in implementing Quality, Environment and Health & Safety Management systems and providing sensible and cost effective solutions to problems.

In 2008 he was selected by the British Standards Institution to act as the UK Health & Safety Auditing Expert on Technical Committee 176 of the International Standards Organisation (ISO) for the revision of ISO 19011. In 2013 Charlie was awarded an MBE in 2013 for his services to Health & Safety.

Andrew Cooke BEng LLB (Hons), Dip Eng Law, Dip NEBOSH

Andrew is the Safety, Health and Environment Director for GRAHAM, and oversees the SHE function for the Group. He has over 25 years' experience in the construction industry firstly as an operational member of site management teams, and then as a dedicated SHE Advisor, Manager and Director. He also oversees and heads up the GRAHAM Cultural and Behavioural Safety programme, and ensures the Company's compliance to the Modern Slavery Act.

Andrew is a founder member of the ICE (NI Region) H&S Group, who are organising this event, was a former CDM Coordinator, and is a member of both IOSH and IIRSM. He is also an independent member on the HSE (GB) Fee For Intervention Disputes Panel.

Jill Given BEng CEng MIEI IMaPS

Jill is a Principal Engineer with Atkins Global with over 20 years' experience in the construction industry delivering major projects and providing specialist technical advice in the UK and Europe. She is a Health & Safety Best Practice Advisor within Atkins and has provided support mentoring and guidance both internally and externally to clients on multiple Health, Safety and Wellbeing areas.


Chief Operating Officer, Lagan Construction Group

Nick Fletcher is the Chief Operating Officer of Lagan Construction Group and is responsible for overseeing all operational phases of construction work across Ireland, the UK and internationally. He manages infrastructure, capital and maintenance projects for a vast array of public and private organisations, as well as overseeing the day to day operations for all divisions within the Company focusing on quality and safety leadership.

As a Civil Engineer, Nick has worked in the construction industry for over 30 years. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Fellow of the Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management, Chartered Member of the Institution of Highways and Transportation, Chartered Member of the Institution of Asphalt Technologies and a past Chartered Member of the Institution of Engineers of Ireland.

Nick currently lives in Northern Ireland with his wife and three daughters. In his spare time he is an outdoor sports enthusiast and, as the President of the Irish Windsurfing Association, loves to go windsurfing and cruising sailing racing.

Event venue

Ulster Museum
Botanic Ct
Belfast BT9 5AB
United Kingdom

For more information please contact:

Jude Faloon

e: jude.faloon@ice.org.uk