Last week when I heard of the four miners trapped in the Gleision Colliery mine in Wales, I was relaxed about the event; ever since the rescue of the Chilean Miners it seems that miners don’t die in accidents, they can be saved and I waited for the good news story.
As we know the good news story never came, and I heard that all four miner had been killed in the accident. This reminds us that for every happy ending there are usually more unhappy ending disasters. It also reminded me that the bar is constantly rising for which disasters we should be able to cope with, and yesterday’s catastrophic incident should it happen again today, be handled with minimum disruption or loss of life.
Fifteen or twenty years ago IT systems that went down for days was classed as an occupational hazard. IT departments today know that even 5 minutes of downtime of a system produces a flurry of calls to the helpdesk, and demands for information as to when it will be up and running again. Secondly yesterday’s catastrophic incident is expected to be covered under plans if it were to happen again today, having learnt the lessons from it. When 9/11occurred there were no detailed plans in place for dealing with such a catastrophic incident and although those responding did the best they could under extremely difficult circumstances. If the same event occurred in another city today then we would expect the responders to have
plans in place and to be prepared to deal with the incident. The danger for us business continuity people is that they bar for what our organisations are expected to deal with is always getting higher. We have to be constantly scanning what incidents have occurred and the lessons learned so that the
organisations we are responsible for, are ready for the next incident.
Our thoughts are with the families and friends of the Gleision miners.