Friday, June 16, 2017


Eyes that do not see
Ears that do not hear*

ACCORDING TO NUMEROUS news reports emanating from the UK, the Grenfell Tower was known for some time to be a death trap.

Residents complained.

An “action group” complained.

Apparently a government minister heard of the complaints, but allowed the structure’s managers to push back a request to discuss the concerns.

All the above is pretty much the experience of risk managers worldwide.

ENTERPRISE RISK MANAGEMENT practitioners can tell a client there are problems and how to avoid or mitigate the problems.

But unless the client is willing to accept, and act on, the practitioner’s recommendations, nothing gets done . . . until a disaster such as the Grenfell Tower fire occurs. (In the U.S., it took the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire on March 25, 1911 to bring about changes to building safety. It cost 145 workers their lives.)

In England, who knew there was a problem?

Residents of Grenfell Tower have said they raised multiple concerns about the risk of fire in the months before the fatal blaze at the building, but were “brushed away” by the council’s tenant management organization.

Survivors of the disaster said on Wednesday they had raised fears about the fact that there was only one escape route. They also told the Kensington and Chelsea tenant management organization (KCTMO) of their concerns over the placement of boilers and gas pipes, the absence of a building-wide fire alarm or sprinkler system, and piles of rubbish being dumped and causing a fire risk.
Source: Grenfell Tower residents say managers 'brushed away' fire safety concerns

An action group predicted the Grenfell Tower fire was an accident waiting to happen four years ago but claim their warnings fell on deaf ears.

The fire service confirmed this morning there had been a number of fatalities in the horrific blaze which was reported just after 1 am today thought to have been caused by an exploding fridge.

It engulfed the 27-storey building where 600 people were said to be living in 120 flats and twelve people have so far been confirmed dead.

Grenfell Action Group said: 'Watching breaking news about the Grenfell Tower fire catastrophe. Too soon to even guess at numbers of casualties and fatalities.

'We have posted numerous warnings in recent years about the very poor fire safety standards at Grenfell Tower and elsewhere in Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea (RBKC).

'All our warnings fell on deaf ears. This was inevitable and just a matter of time.'
Source: 'Only a catastrophic event will expose the neglect': Action group called for Grenfell Tower to be pulled down FOUR YEARS ago but say their warnings about appalling safety 'fell on deaf ears'

Experts said in March that after a review into building regulations, parliament should ask "really serious questions" about the safety of tower blocks and the danger posed by fire. The warnings have been restated after multiple people died in a fire in West London.

Housing minister Gavin Barwell had committed last year to review the specific part of building regulations that relate to fire safety. But that report was delayed earlier this year, Fire Risk Management reported in March, with a spokesperson then refusing to give a date for the launch of the review.

There are still 4,000 tower blocks that are under the same old building regulations as those in Lakanal House. It's not clear whether Grenfell Tower, where the horrific blaze broke out, was built according to those regulations.

Fire safety expert Sam Webb told Fire Risk Management that "really serious questions" needed to be asked in parliament about fire safety. He pointed specifically to the kind of materials used in buildings, saying that they are "not fire-resistant and in some cases they're flammable.
Source: London fire: Government delayed review of tower block fire safety regulations after deadly blaze

Again and again, if the English papers can be believed, the safety of the building — and by extension, others like it — has been a topic of discussion for some time, yet nothing was done to eliminate or at least mitigate the problem.

Now, after a number of residents lie in a morgue has the building’s hazards come to the attention of the British prime minister who ordered a “public inquiry” into the fire.

The question remains: Even after all the “public inquiry” will anything be done to protect other people in similar towers?

‘Course the cause of the fire still must be determined.

Accident or arson, according to the reports in the English press, the building’s design and materials turned a small fire into a building-wide disaster.

A building-wide disaster that could have been mitigated, if not prevented.

* From Psalm 135: They have mouths, but cannot speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear — referring to idols made of silver and gold by the hands of man.



PLAGIARISM is the act of appropriating the literary composition of another, or parts or passages of his writings, or the ideas or language of the same, and passing them off as the product of one’s own mind.

Comments: In my opinion

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