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Health and Safety Criticism surrounding 7/7 Attacks
Posted by David Cant on May 13, 2011

Health and Safety Criticism

Metropolitan Police commissioner Sir Paul Stephenson has spoken about his concern about Health and Safety and the emergency services.  After assessing the actions of the Police and other emergency men and women immediately after the July 7th bombings which left 52 people dead and many others injured and traumatised.

Health and Safety Regulations Questioned

The health and safety services which are in place to ensure the safety of employees and the public are not put in any unnecessary danger are hampering according to Sir Paul. He made the comments after the inquest surrounding the 2005 suicide bombing attacks in London listened to some of the testimonials.

In some cases the police for and other emergency services felt that health and safety was stopping them from providing help when it was needed.  Lady Justice Hallet, the coroner, decided that any of the delays that were experienced due to health and safety did not cause the death of anyone caught up in the attacks.  Lady Justice Hallet went on to rule that all of the victims were killed unlawfully.

Dog Handler Criticised Cops for Holding Back

At the inquest PC Glen Hesketh, an explosive dog sniffer handler, said that when he joined the forces in the 1980’s the priority was always to save lives.  He was disappointed that other police officers were waiting before they tried to save people who were injured and trapped on the Tavistock Square bus which was bombed.

Commissioner Points across his Views

After the ruling Sir Paul took the opportunity to talk to the press. In a report by the Daily Telegraph Sir Paul said that he was left wondering if the health and safety legislations were appropriate for the police force when they were first introduced. He said that the police know that they are putting their lives at risk when the join, and thankfully very few actually have to pay the ultimate price.  He appreciates that health and safety has its place but their jobs are to do with the risk business.

Sir Paul went on to say that he did not want to criticise anyone made it clear that he did not want to make the people who were involved in the July 7th bombings feel like they made the wrong decisions.

The Police Federation have said that they are disappointed by the disregard Sir Paul feelings for health and safety legislations. The chairman, Paul Mckeever, stated that those laws and regulations were in place in order to protect everyone.  Although not everyone shares these views as there were some cops who supported Sir Pauls comments, such as Chief Constable Peter Fahy.

Lady Justice Hallet did say that she believed that the victims would have died from their injuries regardless of how quickly the emergency services had arrived to help.  She did add that all of the emergency services need to work out a better system of communication in order to prevent deaths in the future.

Risk Assessment and Health and Safety Services

The health and safety consultants are fully aware of how important it is to carry out full risk assessments for employees. Without following the regulations and laws the company is facing legal action from the health and safety executive.

Call 0800 1488 677 to talk to health and safety consultants about risk assessment and other health and safety services.


Director at Veritas Consulting. The SME's favourite go-to consultant for health and safety know-how. Bucket loads of experience. Fluent in practical advice. Solutionist with a brain you can pick.

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This post has been filed in: Health and Safety at Work, Workplace Health and Safety

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