"Avoidable accident" on the ranges, report released on death in Tain last year

#61
I think HERRICK/TELIC with their increased Sniper use and probably better understanding from a ISTAR point of view proved how much more in demand Snipers suddenly became.
With that then, the niche capability becomes more generalised with a possible degradation of both training standard and output.
That shouldn't occur if the training needs analysis has been done correctly.
 
#62
"
7General duties of employees at work.
It shall be the duty of every employee while at work—

(a)to take reasonable care for the health and safety of himself and of other persons who may be affected by his acts or omissions at work; and

(b)as regards any duty or requirement imposed on his employer or any other person by or under any of the relevant statutory provisions, to co-operate with him so far as is necessary to enable that duty or requirement to be performed or complied with.

Annotations:

Modifications etc. (not altering text)
C30Pt. 1 modified (1.1.2018) by The Ionising Radiations Regulations 2017 (S.I. 2017/1075), regs. 1(2), 2(3) (with regs. 2(5), 3, Sch. 8)
C35Ss. 1-59 applied by S.I. 2001/2127 art. 8A 8B (as inserted (E.W.S.) (6.4.2011) by The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (Application outside Great Britain) (Variation) Order 2011 (S.I. 2011/745), arts. 1(1), 3(2))
C74Ss. 1–25, 26, 27, 28, 30, 33, 34–59, 80, 81 and 82 applied by S.I. 1989/840, arts. 2–10
C75S. 7 modified (15.11.2000) by S.I. 2000/2831, reg. 5(1)
Ss. 1-59, 80-82 applied (11.7.2001) by S.I. 2001/2127, arts. 4(1), 5(1)(2), 6(1), 7(1), 8(1), 10 (with art. 11) (as amended by S.I. 2009/1750, art. 2(2)(4))
C76Ss. 1-59, 80-82 applied (temp.) (5.8.2009) by The Health and Safety at Work etc. Act 1974 (Application outside Great Britain) Order 2001 (S.I. 2001/2127), arts. 8A, 8B (as inserted by S.I. 2009/1750, art. 2(3))
C77S. 7 modified (E.W.S.) (1.10.2014) by The Genetically Modified Organisms (Contained Use) Regulations 2014 (S.I. 2014/1663), regs. 1, 4(2) (with reg. 3(1)(2))
8Duty not to interfere with or misuse things provided pursuant to certain provisions.
No person shall intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the interests of health, safety or welfare in pursuance of any of the relevant statutory provisions.

"
Cheers MOz.
 
#63
Its worth saying READ THE REPORT again

Its thorough and understandable.

It should have those in range training positions thinking hard and seriously about how they go about their profession and, importantly thinking clearly in a modern "Behavioural" way.

So often people forget or don`t even realise the reason why procedures policy etc are put in place

In the area\industry I work in this training cycle wouldn`t have even got started
It does remind me of the level of trust granted to us in Recce platoon. We did still have a few lads with ND's luckily no one was hurt. I recall an AR15 and an M79 being involved.
 
#64
I am quite familiar with situations where death or injury has been caused by skipping around the rules.

Students is one thing, an experienced soldier is another
Not where the likelihood of death or injury is likely to result - absolutely not.
 
#65
One of the highlighted points was allowing troops not qualified by formal SOC training to use equipment in sniper platoons prior to qualification and employment as No2's. Now this is a sticky point, how do you motivate the troops without a level of hands on even if it involves WHT's?
I recall our snipers wouldnt even talk about the platoon to outsiders, you didnt get put into sniping until you were a class 1 Infantry soldier and a marksman and passed the unit snipers course which usually involved final assesment from an outside person!
 
#66
Combined with lack of effective oversight and application of basic rules by the range conducting staff it would appear. What a sad and pointless way to go.
Can I just caveat my first post on the thread.

He was leaning with his chin on the muzzle of his rifle. Everything leading up to this point was avoidable with procedures and planning, they are in place to block the effects of an individual acting stupidly (resting chin on muzzle of weapon) unfortunately the cosmic forces aligned that day and he had his emperor Mong moment and wasn\t protected from his own stupidity

Absolutely sad and pointless, but adds to the knowledge of the organisation and should make future training safer and more effective
 
#67
I feel compelled to reiterate a few points that you gentlemen have already made.

"Big boys rules" in my mind means the RCO trusts the individuals firing to the point where he let's them crack on with the shoot, with minimal verbal input. That doesn't mean the normal range procedure of clearing someone off the point doesn't get followed.

recce and snipers have traditionally built their foundations on the fact they are made of mature, confident and experienced men who don't need someone looking out for the all time. That's absolutely find in some regards but when it comes to exercises and ranges, it's important to make sure they are ran as per the range document.
In this case the RCO ordered 'Firers show clear' but If I remember correct that isn't against range rules, or am I wrong? The report doesn't criticise the order, only that it wasn't best applied to students on a course.
 
#68
Can I just caveat my first post on the thread.

He was leaning with his chin on the muzzle of his rifle. Everything leading up to this point was avoidable with procedures and planning, they are in place to block the effects of an individual acting stupidly (resting chin on muzzle of weapon) unfortunately the cosmic forces aligned that day and he had his emperor Mong moment and wasn\t protected from his own stupidity

Absolutely sad and pointless, but adds to the knowledge of the organisation and should make future training safer and more effective
'Lessons have been learned' - until the next time.
 
#69
In this case the RCO ordered 'Firers show clear' but If I remember correct that isn't against range rules, or am I wrong? The report doesn't criticise the order, only that it wasn't best applied to students on a course.
I recall firers show clear and raising an arm, still have to do it on club ranges even if supervised, it gets the person ready for the responsibility of doing stuff unsupervised!
 
#70
I am completely with you on procedures being important and deviation from that carrying risk.
On the other hand, I have never held an SA80 in my life, but I bet I could work out how to make one safe in about 10 seconds.
That might be true, but it ain't the same as being drilled to the point where you can do it blindfolded, and in your sleep. Too much casual familiarity with the weapon, too little intensive repetition of safety drills, and a momentary lapse ensued, leading to untimely death.
 
#72
That would be nice.
Most range days seemed to involve freezing fingers, driving rain and some fatigue from the previous evenings beer and skirt chasing.
Turning up two hours before the range opens and then back ground activity would be running around in the sennelager snow to stay warm.
 
#73
In this case the RCO ordered 'Firers show clear' but If I remember correct that isn't against range rules, or am I wrong? The report doesn't criticise the order, only that it wasn't best applied to students on a course.
Now the part that got me was the practice of "raising leg to show clear". Never heard of this before but the reason mentioned for this practice was that raising the arm disrupts the firing position etc etc. Sounds all very good and believable until you then think about it.......you have been given a order to unload the weapon which means in theory that it wont be fired in the near future and could mean having to move to another position or leave the firing point. Therefore the reason of disrupting the firing position is null-and-void. Is this a case of one rule for the masses and one for those slightly special people who are revered in their status?
I could ask Father of CH who was a Sniper back in his Army days but i think he will end up talking stories about how the L42A1 awesome!
 
#75
Therefore the reason of disrupting the firing position is null-and-void.
Not really as unloading and showing clear could be for a reason that only required a minute or two to stop the shoot.
Is this a case of one rule for the masses and one for those slightly special people who are revered in their status
Yes, its recognition of the fact they are expected to remain in a firing position, range drills simulating combat drills, its training for a difficult and demanding role. Failing to train everyone to the same high standard means that those untrained may in combat stand up behind their weapon or stop to pick up the empty cases before reloading (see the onion field killings for proof). The problem is the average troops and new drafts to units are usually more concerned with the shouty DS than shooting properly. Its a shouty DS culture that needs culling first.
 
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#76
Agree the DS statement. Years and years ago in training as i was a Junior Bleeder you could choose a nightime hobby as they were called. I chose .22 shooting. This was all carried out totally different from the shouty version 2 hours ago on the fullbore range. Yes, words of command and procedures were used but i probably learnt more on those periods than i did otherwise.
 
#77
A very short time before that course he was in a war zone , responsible for the safety of his weapon.
If he hadn't been killed he could have been sent on ops soon after.
There is no Range Staff looking over his shoulder there.
You are correct. Everything you have posted is correct. He didn't unload properly. He didn't clear the weapon even though he indicated he had. You are correct.

You seem dismissive though about the absence of procedures designed to notice such behaviour eg DS1 wasn't observing the firer, he had left the firing point mid shoot. It's a very good example of why we had such procedures in the first place. You are correct though.

I always thought the practice of cocking the weapon three times when clearing it was OTT. It's just not necessary is it? Well here's a true dit...

Belfast, Mcrory park, 18 hour days, 7 day weeks, no days off. Blokes are knackered. Stupidly so. Doing top cover we always made ready, not foot patrols. Dismount, enter loading bay, ''Unload''. Bloke next to me cocks the weapon 3 times and ejects 3 rounds. I'm like whoa stop. Remove magazine. The drill caught an error.
He was an experienced soldier. It shouldn't have happened but it did. I realised the drills are designed for exhausted pissed of soldiers.
 
#78
Yep. With you on that.

Just read a book about the instructors on the SEAL Sniper Program.

They prided themselves on teaching and passing students who deserved it ,not making it a shouty, 'let's terrify the candidates' course.

1533903573623.jpeg
 
#79
Its a sad case, and a tragic accident. Despite the conclusions of the report, I'm not that sure its possible to completely eliminate a momentary human error.


Incidentally, I'm not sure if its possible with the L115A3, but with the almost identical AW you can get a loading condition that is different to the a,b, and c mentioned at 1.4.144 in the report. Rather, its a combination of a and b:

1. Partially closing the bolt by about 2" or so and then pausing causes a round to flick-feed itself into the chamber, due to magazine spring pressure (5 out of 10 rounds in the mag). If the chamber is dry and/or the muzzle slightly depressed, the round will almost completely seat itself. Might be different with the heavier and longer .338, but 7.62 will do this very consistently.

2. If the bolt is subsequently run fully home but without lowering the handle (as you often do on the range to keep rain out of the action but without making ready for the next shot), it will simply seat the round but without engaging the extractor. Opening the bolt gives an "empty chamber" feel, since it does not bring with it a live or empty case.

3. An AESP drill unload is perfectly possible with one hand on an AW (thumb on bolt, second finger on trigger), although the report concludes that this needs two hands on an L115A3. Dunno myself - although the rifles have slightly different length actions, the bolt/trigger geometry is identical for that length of bolt travel pertaining to the AW.

4. You can thus close the bolt with an un-tensioned striker onto a chambered round. A military primer almost certainly will not action under the very light residual firing pin pressure.

5. Thus, contrary to the report, a "light strike" is not a requirement to have a chambered round in an uncocked rifle - at least in the AW version of the rifle.


This doesn't add anything to the report conclusions - its hard to see how this could have happened in any way other than scenario (c) - but it does demonstrate how easy it is in practice to achieve an uncommon loading situation in rifles like this with a deep chamber and long front locking lugs*, or for weapons to be manipulated in a way not mentioned in drill pamphlets.



* (a further aspect of this type of rifle is that visual check of the chamber mouth are difficult, and often rely on a little finger or a breach flag to confirm. I'm absolutely certain that the rate of NDs would be much higher on civilian ranges but for the almost universal use of breech flags.)
 
#80
Belfast, Mcrory park, 18 hour days, 7 day weeks, no days off. Blokes are knackered. Stupidly so. Doing top cover we always made ready, not foot patrols. Dismount, enter loading bay, ''Unload''. Bloke next to me cocks the weapon 3 times and ejects 3 rounds. I'm like whoa stop. Remove magazine. The drill caught an error.
He was an experienced soldier. It shouldn't have happened but it did. I realised the drills are designed for exhausted pissed of soldiers.
Saw something similar in Fort Monagh in 1977... only difference was several rounds fired into the sand.

Basic safety drills.

IIRC the load and unload were always the first thing to be taught in any SAA training and any safety mistake on a WHT was an automatic fail.
 

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