Jane Binyon

Jane Binyon worked in various capacities for the Heath and Safety Executive for 24 years, interrupted by a secondment to the CBI, where she reported on ‘safety cultures’. She retired in 1998.

Delays that Kill: rail safety

Jane Binyon, 16 March 2000

No specific background was required when I joined the Factory Inspectorate in the mid-1960s, before it became part of the Health and Safety Executive: a philosophy graduate could be as successful as a chartered engineer. Indeed, diversity was one of its main strengths: the combination of a small group of specialists and a larger group with a wide variety of backgrounds gave it the ability to see a problem from many different perspectives and allowed it to challenge assumptions and ask stupid questions – often the most necessary.

I can quite believe that Alan Bennett's patience with Tony Blair is exhausted, but when he and Graham Brown (Letters, 22 January) want me to consider carefully how to vote at the next general election I need further advice. Have I missed Michael Howard's anti-war speeches, can I imagine Charles Kennedy in Number 10, or should I believe in the miracle of St Gordon, sitting in cabinet, providing the...

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