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Statement on joint Police/HSE investigation into Brecon Beacon deaths

Date:
27 February 2014

A spokesman for the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) said:

“In a Ministry of Defence selection test exercise in the Brecon Beacons in July 2013, a group of soldiers suffered heat illness and three died. MoD repeated the test exercise the following day in similar weather conditions. There were more casualties but no further deaths. HSE continues to investigate the circumstances leading to the deaths jointly with the Police, who lead the investigation.

“As a result of early findings from the investigation, HSE served a Crown Improvement Notice on the MoD on 25 October. This required them, in accordance with their own guidance, to manage risks adequately by producing and acting upon exercise-specific risk assessments. The MoD complied with the Notice and took action before the next selection test exercise in January 2014.

“HSE is well aware that the MoD training exercises are arduous and require endurance and that there are good operational reasons for this. HSE did not ask the MoD to make the tests softer, provide hot food or for soldiers to be helped over the finish line.”