Has MOD breached its duty of care in military vehicle collisions on Salisbury Plain?

June 18, 2015
Rhicha Kapila - Partner in the Military Claims Team

Posted by: Rhicha Kapila


A number of soldiers have suffered serious injuries following a collision between three military vehicles during a joint training exercise on Salisbury Plain.

The crash involved British soldiers and Indian military personnel who were taking part in an annual joint exchange exercise codenamed Ajeya Warrior. The accident occurred near Westdown Camp, Larkhill on a public highway cutting through the plains.

The crash appears to have been dramatic. Two of the passengers trapped in the wreckage had to be rescued by Wiltshire Fire and Specialist Rescue Unit. So far five of the twenty soldiers involved in the collision are reported to have suffered critical, life-changing, injuries with others requiring urgent medical treatment at the scene of the accident.

The cause of the collision and the exact nature of the injuries sustained are unknown, but it is likely that negligent driving or vehicle maintenance would be at the root of the incident. It is hard to imagine any other causes, given that the events took place in broad daylight and in dry conditions.

Whilst investigations are underway by Wiltshire Police into the collision, an inquiry into the incident by the MoD is also needed to answer how and why the accident occurred.

MoD’s Duty of Care

The MoD, like any other employer, owes a duty of care to military personnel to provide them with a safe working environment, which includes ensuring that:

  • Work equipment – and this would include vehicles – is kept in good order and repair;
  • Service personnel are given the correct equipment for the task in hand;
  • Work equipment is regularly inspected;
  • Service personnel are trained in how to correctly use the equipment and that they are made aware of any risks and dangers;
  • If dangers are identified in risk assessments they are communicated to service personnel;
  • Measures are taken to protect service personnel to safeguard against those dangers;
  • Suitable personal protective equipment is be provided where necessary;
  • Defective equipment is removed until it has been repaired and is returned in good, safe, working order.

With rules and regulations in place to protect military personnel, incidents during military training exercises that lead to serious casualties and sadly on occasion fatalities can be avoided. Visit the defective equipment and military claims page for more information.

We feel strongly that the military should be held to its duty to maintain equipment and to make sure that all participating in a exercise are trained service to avoid causing injury to others. Failure to do this can cause unnecessary injury which has consequences that can be catastrophic for military and post-military careers.

If you have suffered injury through the negligence of others and are considering making aa claim for compensation through the courts, please contact.

I am an Associate at Bolt Burdon Kemp specialising in Military Claims. If you think you have a claim, contact me free of charge and in confidence on 0207 288 4845 or by e-mail rhichakapila@boltburdonkemp.co.uk for specialist legal advice. Alternatively, you can complete this form and one of our solicitors in the Military team will contact you. You can find out more about the team and the Ministry of Defence’s duty of care as an employer here.

Posted by: Rhicha Kapila

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