Saturday, June 23, 2007

BBC criticised over Richard Hammond crash

Before the Richard Hammond crash, Jeremy Clarkson often bleated on about having to fill out Health and safety" forms for BBC's Top Gear.

Interestingly, despite all these forms, the BBC is criticised, by the Health and Safety Exceutive, on several grounds regarding the Richard Hammond accident. In fairness, the Executive also point to several precautions which saved Hammond's life. The Guardian reports:

The BBC's safety guidelines were criticised today by an investigation into the high-speed crash that nearly killed Top Gear presenter Richard Hammond.

A report by the Health and Safety Executive identified failings in the BBC's "safety management systems" but ruled that no one should be prosecuted over the incident.

Today's HSE report pointed to failings in the BBC's risk assessment of Hammond's daredevil stunt in September last year, in which he drove a jet-powered dragster at speeds of up to 288mph.

The BBC was also criticised for the way in which it procured services from the company that owned the car and trained Hammond for his stunt.

Identifying eight key faults, the HSE said the BBC had failed to allow sufficient time for the planning, preparation and consultation for the shoot at Elvington airfield, near York.

The BBC did not make "full and appropriate use" of in-house support and external technical resources, the watchdog added.


  1. If the Health and Safety Agency can make strapping youself to a jet engine surrounded by Meccano and lighting the blue touch paper safe, they are better men than we are, Gunga Din.

    I some times think we need a Court of Common Sense, chaired by a Man or Woman Who Knows. And when a responsible adult in full posession of his faculties does the above (jet, meccano, etc) or something like it for the Sunday night edification of us all and it goes wrong, the HSE should appear before the Court of Commons Sense - no expensive barristers - and be told their suggested investigation is contra Common Sense. No appeal or judicial review will be possible.

    The HSE were recently lecturing a bunch of boat captains about how to make their boats safer. Now, you do not meet many lax skippers because they are usually dead. HSE told square rigger captain that going up the rigging was unsafe, and they must use a cherry picker driven by fully qualified driver. 'All the time?' asks our Ahab
    'All the time,' replies FSE B.F.
    'where am I going to find one of those when I want to reef a sail in mid Atlantic?' Asks skipper. Wasn't in the HSE's notes.

    While I wouldn't wish Mr Hammond any ill, one good side effect of his pile up is that our Yorkshire Air Ambulance has some cash now, whereas before it couldn't afford to take off.

  2. Very funny, that cherry picker story, Peter!

  3. It is interesting to note that none of the things the HSE recommended would ahve affected Richard Hammond's accident at all. So it shows just how useless these forms are.