Ministry of Defence flouting safety regulations
Posted: December 10, 2015
Posted in: Armed Forces Injuries Workplace Injuries
Millions of pounds are being paid out annually to military personnel who are sustaining injuries because the Ministry of Defence is blatantly flouting its own safety rules. MPs will hear this week how the death of three SAS trainees in the Brecon Beacons in 2013 could have been avoided had the regulations not been routinely ignored. Lawyers specialising in military issues will present evidence that servicemen and women are dying or being maimed each year due to the service refusing to learn from past mistakes.
The enquiry being carried out by the Defence Select Committee led by Madeleine Moon, MP for Bridgend, will hear that 131 military personnel died on exercises or in training between 2000 and 2015 due to either neglect or ignorance of the military’s own guidelines. The Committee will also hear that many hundreds more are injured or maimed due to the same issue.
Should be viewed in same way as employees
Lawyer Phillipa Tuckman pointed out that most of the injuries sustained by military personnel are not sustained on the battlefield and that they should be viewed in just the same way as employees working with potentially dangerous equipment. Many of the injuries relate to heat or cold issues when out on training or manoeuvres and past experience should teach trainers how to deal with these issues.
The military’s own rules state clearly that “each year there are significant impacts on health and sometimes deaths as a result of heat and cold injuries amongst Service personnel in the UK and overseas. These are nearly all preventable, provided the risk factors are assessed properly and appropriately managed”.
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