Hillsborough: 96 reasons why health & safety is not an albatross
The independent report reveals 41 of the victims could have survived.
Full report here: The Report of the Hillsborough Independent Panel
In the foreword the Right Reverend James Jones, Bishop of Liverpool says:
“The fourth-century philosopher, Lactantius, wrote:
The whole point of justice consists precisely in our providing for others through
humanity what we provide for our own family through affection.
The disclosed documents show that multiple factors were responsible for the deaths of the 96 victims of the Hillsborough tragedy and that the fans were not the cause of the disaster. The disclosed documents show that the bereaved families met a series of obstacles in their search for justice.”
Some major safety points
Chapter 1 is about unheeded warnings and says:
“It is evident from the documents disclosed to the Panel that the safety of the crowd admitted to the terrace was compromised at every level: access to the turnstiles from the public highway; the condition and adequacy of the turnstiles; the management of the crowd by SYP and the SWFC stewards; alterations to the terrace, particularly the construction of pens; the condition and placement of crush barriers; access to the central pens via a tunnel descending at a 1 in 6 gradient; emergency egress from the pens via small gates in the perimeter fence; and lack of precise monitoring of crowd capacity within the pens.These deficiencies were well known and further overcrowding problems at the turnstiles in 1987 and on the terrace in 1988 were additional indications of the inherent dangers to crowd safety. The risks were known and the crush in 1989 was foreseeable.”
“6.From the earliest safety assessments made by safety engineers commissioned in 1978 by SWFC, it was apparent that the stadium failed to meet minimum standards under the Safety of Sports Grounds Act 1975 and established in the Guide to Safety
at Sports Grounds (known as the ‘Green Guide’), 1976. Documents released to the Panel confirm that the local Advisory Group for Safety at Sports Grounds carried out inadequate and poorly recorded inspections. There is clear evidence that SWFC’s primary consideration was cost and, to an extent, this was shared by its primary safety consultants, Eastwood & Partners.”
Chapter 4 looks at the inadequacies of the emergency response and says:
“To implement effective rescue and recovery, it is important that the disaster is recognised and the major incident plan activated by all emergency services. The disclosed documents reveal important flaws at each stage.Not only was there delay in recognising that there were mass casualties, the major incident plan was not correctly activated and only limited parts were then put into effect. As a result, rescue and recovery efforts were affected by lack of leadership, coordination, prioritisation
of casualties and equipment. The emergency response to the Hillsborough disaster has not previously been fully examined, because of the assumption that the outcome for those who died was irretrievably fixed long before they could have been helped.”
“46.The disclosed documents show clear and repeated evidence of failures in leadership and emergency response coordination. While this is understandable in the immediate moments of an overwhelming disaster, it was a situation that persisted for at least 45 minutes after injured spectators were released from the pens.”
“56 Doctors and nurses attending the match as spectators were uniquely placed to weigh the emergency services’ response against their professional experience. Their documented accounts confirm that a large majority were critical of the lack of leadership, coordination, triage and equipment.”
Chapter 10 concerns the 3.15pm cut-off.
Chapter 11 the review and alteration of statements.
Chapter 12 investigates the origins, promotion and reproduction of unsubstantiated headlines.
A survivor says:
“I saw what happened at Hillsborough. Now I have seen the lies detonated.”