Accidents will happen. (Special Report).(Industry Overview)

During the latest year of reporting there were nearly 2,000 major and over-three-day (O3D) injuries in the British Fire Service. Research by the HSE indicates there should have been between 200 and 600 times that number of near miss events, yet according to the Fire Service Inspectorate only 20,000 near misses were recorded.

One brigade has indicated the ratio of O3D accidents to near misses is more than 3:1--not even the other way around. Is the British Fire Service safer than most organisations or are there subtle signs that indicate the potential for a major accident or even a disaster being missed?

The loss of communications at a simple incident or drill requiring the use of BA provides a useful example of a near miss event. This appears, at least according to anecdotal evidence, a common problem, but how often is this recorded? …

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