Roger Bibbings MBE, partnerships consultant and former occupational safety adviser at the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), said: “With today’s announcement of the appointment of Sir Martin James Moore-Bick PC to lead the public inquiry into the Grenfell Tower fire, the formal process to find answers to the many important and systemic questions that this terrible incident has generated can now begin in earnest. RoSPA welcomes the start of this absolutely vital process.
“The role of inquiries into disasters is to establish clearly not just what happened, when, where, how and with what consequences, but crucially to ask ‘why?’ Asking ‘why’ enough times and at each stage of the inquiry process is necessary to understand both the immediate and root causes.
“For it to be able to go deep enough it will be important that the inquiry’s terms of reference are not too restrictive and that suitable technical assessors are now appointed.
“And, if the negative atmosphere surrounding health and safety created by more than a decade of deregulation and ‘light touch’ risk management and enforcement played a significant part in this awful tragedy, then the inquiry should not shrink from examining this in some detail and laying bare the facts.
“We all owe it, not just to the victims of Grenfell Tower but also to the countless others who could well be harmed by accidents due to the same underlying ‘safety pathogens’, to get this inquiry right.”
See our Let’s Talk About blog for a more detailed comment.