What can we learn from the UK's largest residential fire since World War Two, in which 72 people died? The Grenfell Tower disaster happened in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, one of London's wealthiest areas. As a result of catastrophic...
What can we learn from the UK's largest residential fire since World War Two, in which 72 people died? The Grenfell Tower disaster happened in the Royal Borough of Kensington & Chelsea, one of London's wealthiest areas. As a result of catastrophic decision-making — both by those responsible for maintaining the building and those responding to the fire — what should have been a containable fire turned into a blazing inferno.
In this episode, I explore how those decisions were made and what we can learn from a human risk perspective. My guest, Gill Kernick, is a former resident of Grenfell Tower who works in high hazard industries to develop safety, leadership and culture. She's also the author of a book called Catastrophe and Systemic Change: Learning from the Grenfell Tower Fire and Other Disasters.
In this, the first of two parts, Gill and I discuss Grenfell and the human risk lessons that provides.
In Part Two, we talk about the other disasters she explores in her book and what we can learn from them.
Links to the topics we discuss:
Gill's website - https://grenfellenquirer.blog/
GIll's book - https://grenfellenquirer.blog/catastrophe-systemic-change-the-book/
The Grenfell Tower Fire Wikipedia entry - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Grenfell_Tower_fire
A BBC explainer on Grenfell - https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-40301289
The Piper Alpha Disaster - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piper_Alpha
ACM Cladding - https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/ACM_cladding
The Grenfell Tower Enquiry - https://www.grenfelltowerinquiry.org.uk/
The Lakanal House Fire - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lakanal_House_fire
Conservative politician Jacob Rees-Mogg's comments on the Grenfell Tower residents' 'lacking common sense' in following the Fire Brigade's instructions - https://www.lbc.co.uk/radio/special-shows/ring-rees-mogg/grenfell-survivors-demand-apology-jacob-rees-mogg/
UK Prime Minister Theresa May's reaction to Grenfell - https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-44440479
Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn's reaction to Grenfell - https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/he-leader-need-jeremy-corbyn-10629102
Deepwater Horizon - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill