Military Exercises

Defence written question – answered on 13th February 2014.

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Photo of Andrew Rosindell Andrew Rosindell Conservative, Romford

To ask the Secretary of State for Defence

(1) how many British service personnel have been killed in live fire exercises in each of the last five years;

(2) what steps he is taking to improve the safety of personnel during live fire exercises.

Photo of Andrew Murrison Andrew Murrison The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Defence

Between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2012 (the latest date for which data are available), three UK regular armed forces personnel died while on live firing exercises, two in 2011 and one in 2012. Data for 2013 will be published in March 2014. All three of the fatalities were from the Army.

Since 1996, the Army's ‘Land Accident Prevention and Investigation Team’ (LAIT) has investigated military accidents or incidents which cause or have the potential to cause death, serious injury or equipment loss. The LAIT makes recommendations to ensure appropriate remedial action is taken and to reduce the risk of recurrence. The LAIT is required to follow up recommendations within eight weeks to ensure remedial action has been taken.

Each of the three fatalities detailed above has been the subject of such procedures and the recommendations have been implemented.

Alongside any action taken by the LAIT, police, Health and Safety Executive or Coroner, the appropriate chain of command can convene a detailed service inquiry if anything additional can be learned to prevent recurrence.

All three single services have robust lesson exploitation processes to disseminate best practice.

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