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A worker from Oxted in Surrey has become the longest serving member of the UK's health and safety organisation, the Surrey Mirror has reported.

Dave Rothery, 66, has been an inspector for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) for 46 years. Throughout that time, Rothery has helped to reduce the number of accidents occurring in the workplace.


Rothery is the principal inspector for the Sussex and Surrey area, and seeks to unearth what happened during an incident and how it occurred. Once evidence has been collected, the inspector puts measures in place to prevent the incident recurring, which may include advising employers about the use of PPE or specialist workwear.

During his years as a health and safety inspector, Rothery has seen some distressing cases. One of the worst cases that has remained in his memory was the collapse of a tower crane at a high school. Although two people were killed, many more may have been critically injured if they had not taken a tea break at that time.

Rothery said:

“The decisions people make in the work place can change their lives or kill them. It's our job to make sure people make it home from a day's work safely.”

Rothery says he has dealt with hundreds of incidents over the years, including an explosion, although the case cannot be discussed as it is still under enquiry. He admits that although the HSE works hard to make the workplace safe for everyone, an element of risk will always remain.

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