Alton Towers Smiler crash report with disambiguation of redactions

The request was refused by Health and Safety Executive.

Dear Health and Safety Executive,

I have from your website a copy of the expert report from Steven Flanagan into the Smiler crash at Alton Towers.

Unfortunately the report is difficult to follow in some places because the redactions have not only eliminated people's names, but also generally made it very difficult to see which sets of black blobs refer to the same person.

(Contrast accident reports from the RAIB/MAIB/AAIB, which always talk about people in terms of their roles, leading to phrases like "the pilot flying", "the relief signaller" and "the first mate". These are easy to follow and do not need redaction.)

Can you please supply a copy of the report where it is possible to tell which redactions refer to the same people ? There are numerous ways that this might be done but some obvious possible approaches are:

* Take the published pdf and write annotations next to each blob giving a title. For example in paragraph 12 write above the blobs "(first electrician)" and "(second electrician)". Then for every redaction where the unredacted text refers to these people, write the same annotation above. For example I think (but I'm not sure) that the first two blobs in paragraph 13 are the two electricians again.

* Provide a separate Dramatis Personae which lists all the people whose names have been redacted, by their role in the incident, stating their role (but not their name), and assigns them a letter or number or combination of letters. Then annotate the report with the appropriate code for the person next to each redaction.

* Provide a Dramatis Personae as above along with a cross-reference list which lists the paragraphs containing redactions, and specifies which person from the list each entry in the list refers to.

I'm sure you can think of other ways of doing this. I'm happy to have the information in whatever form is convenient for you.

For the avoidance of doubt I am NOT asking for any of the redacted names to be published. I just want to be able to make sense of the report, which requires that it is possible to tell when two redactions refer to the same person, and when they don't.

Sorry to be a pain. Thanks in advance.

Yours faithfully,

Ian Jackson

Health and Safety Executive

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Health and Safety Executive

1 Attachment

Dear Mr Jackson

Please see attached an acknowledgement of your internal review request.

Regards

Helen

Helen McGlown | Information Management Unit | Freedom of Information Unit Health & Safety Executive | Knowledge Centre 1G Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS |

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Dear Ms McGlown

Thanks for your letter. I'm slightly confused. I think we may be getting two different requests tangled up.

Your letter is an acknowledgement of an internal review request. I requested an internal review into the complete refusal of my request
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a...
but hours later, the report I was asking for was published on the HSE website and your colleagues kindly emailed me via WDTK to let me know.

Since I (mostly) have the information I asked for in that request, I don't think I need that internal review any more (at least from FOI Act point of view). Of course it would be sensible for HSE management to consider whether it was sensible to point-blank refuse a request for a document with one hand, while publishing it on the web with the other.

However, I have another request relating to this same document:
https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/a...
This relates to linkage between redacted names. That request has had an auto-ack but no substantial response yet.

Perhaps you are treating the two requests as one ? That's fine by me. In which case I guess an internal review might be appropriate but it would be sensible perhaps to consider your first-line response to my second request.

Also I note that in your letter you quote the WDTK email address that WDTK used for me when forwarding my first request to you. WDTK uses these email addresses not only to link your responses to the right request, but also to be sure that the responses are actually from you.

Putting the email address in your letter has meant that WDTK has automatically published it, which I think is undesirable. I will consult the WDTK documentation to see whether the WDTK team would like to redact it from the public copy of your letter.

Sorry about my contributions to this confusion.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Jackson

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Executive

Dear Mr Jackson

We will consider the two as one, rather than separately. I will consider your point re the WDTK e-mail address. Please let me know if you receive any feedback from the team on this.

Regards

Helen

Helen McGlown | Information Management Unit | Freedom of Information Unit Health & Safety Executive | Knowledge Centre 1G Redgrave Court, Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS |

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Dear Ms McGlown,

OK, thanks.

Re the WDTK email address: The WDTK team told me they tried to redact the address from their website but their attempt to filter the document wasn't successful. Instead, to try to limit spam etc., they have made that specific address accept emails only from people who have already emailed it, or who have emails ending with @hse.gsi.gov.uk.

I will look forward to your substantive reply about the redactions.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Jackson

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

Health and Safety Executive

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Jackson

Please see attached the internal review response.

Regards

Helen

Helen McGlown | Information Management Unit | Freedom of Information
Unit Health & Safety Executive | Knowledge Centre 1G Redgrave Court,
Merton Road, Bootle L20 7HS |

show quoted sections

Dear Helen,

Thanks for your reply. You are right that it's not the answer I was looking for. I'm regret to inform you that I have referred it to the ICO. No doubt you will be hearing from them soon.

Yours sincerely,

Ian Jackson

Health and Safety Executive

Thank you for emailing the Health and Safety Executive. This is an automatic acknowledgement to tell you we have received your email.

Please note this email account is for the submitting of FOI requests via the 'whatdotheyknow' website only. For all other FOIs requests please refer to http://www.hse.gov.uk/foi/your-right-to-...

HSE publishes a comprehensive range of information and guidance on our website. You can find out what the health and safety law requires by searching under the relevant topic or industry section, and all of our publications are free to download. HSE does not operate a telephone helpline for general health and safety information. If you need to engage the services of a health and safety consultant, you may wish to visit the Occupational Safety and Health Consultants Register (OSHCR).

If your email is a request for advice, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/informatio...

If your email is about a concern, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/complaints...

If you wish to report an incident, please visit http://www.hse.gov.uk/riddor/index.htm

Thank you for contacting the Health and Safety Executive.

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