There was only a brief amount of news coverage of a tragedy that occurred recently in China where we are told a submarine exploded killing a number of members of the crew.
This was by all accounts, a massive explosion. The news appears to indicate that the explosion occurred in the vessel’s torpedo compartment whilst it was berthed at an Indian naval base. All the indications at present are that this could have been an accident due to faulty equipment. Although accidents do occur, this submarine appears to have suffered a similar explosion in 2010 caused by a faulty battery valve in which there was a further fatality.
On the whole the incident highlights the importance yet again of safety not just on board submarines generally which are of course by their nature dangerous places to work. It highlights in my view at least, that we simply cannot ignore arguments that workplaces are on occasions dangerous.
Working in an office has of course a significantly lower risk than working in a submarine. There are numerous jobs however, where the degree of safety varies and the government has now made it significantly more difficult to bring a claim where someone is injured at work.
The fact that the Enterprise Bill has been passed does not mean that the matter will rest there. There is likely to be a legal challenge, if necessary to the European Court. In the interim we have this bizarre situation whereby genuine injuries and workplace injuries (which will in some cases be life changing events - where genuine compensation would be available), may fall by the wayside.