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Learn the safety lessons


Sir, Having spent a career closely involved with safety, I find it immensely sad that recrimination and pursuing corporate manslaughter legislation is viewed as an advance more important than preventing such occurrences.

So often only a few millimetres or a few milliseconds decide whether the outcome of a safety lapse is a non-event or a major catastrophe. Yet the two instances are treated very differently with, often, only luck making the difference.

The aircraft industry has long had a system where there is a free interchange of safety information so that all concerned can learn from mistakes.

Near misses in the air are taken very seriously and action taken to reduce the likelihood of a more serious outcome.

It has always been a mystery to me why massive fines are handed down to companies which fall foul of safety requirements - money which presumably goes into Treasury coffers and is thus not available to correct shortcomings either within the firms concerned or to improve oversight by the regulatory authorities.

Some whistleblowers will have a personal interest in making mischief but many others have valid information on safety breaches which they would report if they could do so without fear of reprisal.

Anthony G Phillips Salisbury Wiltshire