LETTER: Health and safety record is poor

By READER | 09/08/2017

LETTER: Health and safety record is poor

I WAS somewhat taken aback by Tim Taylor of the SYPTE telling us all about how safe the fire alarm system is at Rotherham Transport Interchange.

I have extensive knowledge about the management of the interchange over a number of years and can assure Mr Taylor that the SYPTE haven’t got a track record worthy of mention when it comes to health and safety.

Can Mr Taylor offer comment on the below;

- the failure of SYPTE management to repair the Fulleon Solex 3 Xenon Beacon used to alert deaf people to the activation of the fire alarm in the toilets
- the failure of SYPTE management to repair the emergency call bell in the East Lift (connects C Platform to car park) despite it being reported
- the failure of SYPTE management and their land agent to ensure the fire exits in the retail units and the main corridor that channelled people outside to safety were kept free at all times, as opposed to using them for storage in the case of one retail unit and the regular obstruction of the corridor by most retail units
- the failure of SYPTE management to recognise that the only escape route for people that escape fire through the retail units is into the East and West Service Yards which are often cluttered with vehicles, equipment etc. They have now been put on to an electronic system but with a huge surge of people in the case of a major incident (including power failure) there is no escape for people going in to the East Service Yard and if the power fails the West Service there are only two small gates for people to escape through, one of which may be kept locked
- the failure of SYPTE management to constantly ignore concerns raised about fire extinguishers in the car park. Some were reported as wholly inadequate on a weekly basis and nothing was done.
- the failure of SYPTE management to develop and test a fire evacuation plan on a regular basis. There was one test in seven years and that was a shambles as the management didn’t lead the exercise so nobody knew what they were doing.

There are other matters of health and safety, one in particular relates to public health which hasn’t been discussed but I expect it will emerge one day. However, the above concerns about fire safety were raised between 2003-2010 and despite being well documented the management took the decision to never act on them.

People should base their judgement on whether the town’s main transport hub has offered a safe, welcoming and secure environment to them and their families. I would suggest, with great respect to Mr Taylor, that this isn’t the case.

If Mr Taylor would like to meet with me to discuss the concerns, I am more than happy to do so.

Paddy J Cawkwell, West Street, Conisbrough