An inquiry to be presented to the Defence Select Committee this week will challenge the MoD’s failure to comply with its own safety procedures
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) negligently fails to follow its only safety rules, leading to the injury of hundreds of military personnel every year, MPs will hear this week.
After the death of three soldiers during an SAS selection course in the Brecon Beacons in 2013, the Defence Select Committee commissioned an inquiry into the MoD’s safety record. Investigators will tell the Committee that serious failures by the MoD have been found, including the armed forces' inability to learn from past mistakes, resulting in death or injury of servicemen and women each year.
Between 2000 and 2015, there have been 131 military personnel fatalities in training or on exercises, a figure that does not include accidents that injure hundreds more. The Committee will hear that many of these could have been prevented had proper risk assessments been carried out, one example being the large number of cold injuries suffered by military personnel provided with inadequate equipment whilst on training exercises in extreme weather.
David Robinson, a specialist military injury solicitor at Thompsons Solicitors and an Associate Member of the Royal British Legion Solicitors' Group, said: “It is hugely important that these issues are tackled head on and openly. Our military servicemen and women make a huge sacrifice and, at the very least, they should be able to carry out their work safe in the knowledge that they are being protected as best they can be in often testing circumstances.
“The MoD needs to take its responsibility of protecting service personnel more seriously rules that are in place are not always followed. There needs to be an urgent review into the MoD’s processes to ensure that this situation is rectified.
“The nature of working for the armed forces is inherently dangerous and that places a special duty on the MOD especially on home turf to keep people safe as best they can.”
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