Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Washington: it could have been worse.

My condolences to the families of the seven people who have lost their lives in the metro crash, and my sympathies to the injured and their families. I have been reading the reports of what happened and know from the major Tube accidents in London at King's Cross and Moorgate that it can have far reaching consequences on all those involved.

Now the NTSB have to work out why it happened and one thing that I have noticed in various reports is the mention of the state in which a lot of the infrastructure of the system is in, it seems to vary from "clean and reliable" to "crumbling" and "in a state of dis-repair". I suspect that - as in most cases - this point of view is coloured by which part of the system the persons making these comments actually use.

My biggest worry is not that this happened by why it happened. Not knowing how the metro system in DC is run, I can only speculate that the problem behind this accident could be one of lack of investment and I'm hoping that we are not looking at yet another case of "Damn the customers, we need to keep the share-holders happy".

Maybe some of the financial people of the world should realise they are not exempt from life and that one day they may very well have to face the same change in life that the families of those seven people are now having to come to terms with themselves.

A plea to all the governments of the world: make sure that your health and safety laws make it prohibitively expensive so that it is always cheaper for companies and their directors to carry out safety work, rather than take the hit with the fines and law suits.

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