We were unable to load Disqus. If you are a moderator please see our troubleshooting guide.
This sounds wonderful. Prevention of death and injury is somuch better for everyone concerned.
The following is extremely encouraging:-'Health and safety now has a pivotal role in Cook’s strategy. It is workingtowards annual audits of core hotels from summer 2017, having doubled itsin-house headcount and ramped up activity with Geneva-based specialist SGS “toa different level”.'
I don't personally know anything about SGS and will be looking into their expertisein safety issues. For holidaymakers safety topics can be as diverse as gas andcarbon monoxide to sensible safety at sea.
The following doesn't sound quite as good:-'An Academy of Excellence has been established to help hoteliers meet required standards from food and housekeeping to reception and even online reputation management.'
We all understand that companies guard their reputations and it is entirelyunderstandable for them do so. However, where is the independent help, adviceand support for victims such as the parents of the children who tragically diedin Corfu?
In 2006, on behalf of CO-Gas Safety, I contacted the parents and providedthe contact details for the independent gas expert Harry Rogers who undertookthe investigation and gave evidence at the inquest. This investigation andevidence was crucial because without Harry's report, nobody would everhave known just how bad the condition of that gas appliance was. We alsorecommended Leslie Thomas, the barrister, later QC, for the family at theinquest. In my opinion, without the parents' determination & courage and theexpertise of Harry and Leslie, the full facts would never have emerged.
Last summer at the families' request, Thomas Cook kindly donated £50,000 toCO-Gas Safety. We are very grateful for that donation. The charity is runalmost entirely by volunteers with only a small amount of paid part time helpfor our data of deaths and injuries. I do all the day to day work as a volunteer. £50,000 sounds a huge amount but our most recent published accounts (2015) show it cost £34,463 to run the charity in 2014-15. We cannot last forever.
Also, what are the other tour operators doing? Surely most people think goingwith a tour operator means that as at an absolute minimum, the accommodation willbe reasonably safe and that someone expert with regard to basic safety such as gas, fire, balcony, pool and hygiene will have inspected the accommodation?
Surely the Federation of Tour Operators should be insisting that there be anindependent central body which undertakes safety checks for ALL accommodationas a basic minimum?
If the tour operators got together, then this valuable work could be done morecheaply.
In our opinion the FTO should also be setting up an independent body to provide victim support.
Stephanie Trotter, OBE CO-Gas Safety Email firstname.lastname@example.org