HSE Evacuated | Over 1000 people have been evacuated from the complex that is home to HSE head office building at Redgrave Court, Merton Rd, Bootle L20, today.
A large number of people were seen walking away from the building towards Bootle New Strand on Stanley road at around 10:30 am, Thursday morning.
An unplanned fire alarm had sounded within the complex which meant over 1000 people had to evacuate and head towards the fire assembly point which was in Bootle North Park.
Members of staff confirmed it was an evacuation whilst security workers were seen stopping people from entering the building.
The HSE building was opened by the Duke of York in July 2006 and is said to staff over 1500 people.
The £57 million Private Finance Initiative (PFI) project provides modern serviced accommodation for 1,500 people in an open plan format spread over 24,000 square metres in a mix of four and five storey blocks.
Local independent news outlet Enchanted LifePath TV was in the area when the evacuation was taking place and filmed the crowds of people walking away from the HSE Head Office.
The scenes were comparable to a football match crowd heading to one of the two Premier League grounds in the city at Anfield and Goodison park respectively.
The complex is located on Redgrave Court and was named after Alexander Redgrave after it was chosen by staff via a competition.
Alexander Redgrave was the first HM Chief Inspector of Factories in 1878.
Although staff and security confirmed there was no fire it is still unknown what the knock-on-effect from the evacuation will be.
A call was made to HSE Bootle to find out if everybody was accounted for, if the building was now secure and deemed safe but a member of staff replied with no comment/information can be provided.
Around 1500 people evacuated at an average was of around £9-£15 per hour shows the huge cost that may come from the sudden, unplanned evacuation.
It is also unknown what the fall-out will be, if any, regarding health and safety work and correspondence within the hour as the depot is the Head Office for the whole of the North West.
Although the mass evacuation seemed to go well and people were in good in spirits questions are being asked about the evacuation plan and who approved it.
The issue is that an estimated 1500 people had a 1.6 mile round trek down a busy high street main shopping area of Bootle.
The evacuation plan is not very practical for any disabled staff and a lot of the non-disabled staff may have found it difficult to make the journey from the HSE building to North Park assembly point.
However, there was a much closer option that seems to have been overlooked by organisers of the evacuation with another park located around 500 yards away from Redgrave Court, on Merton Rd.
Kings Gardens is facing Hugh Baird college and is a much closer option with a 3 or 4 minute walk to the grounds of the park.
Although Google says it is a seven minute walk, locals will tell you different and it is a much faster route that significantly reduces the time, distance and congestion they endured/created.
The time it has taken will have been at least halved by choosing faster options as will have the health and safety of the staff and general public that could have been jeopardised.
The image below shows a valid location much closer to HSE’s building than North Park.
If 1500 people suddenly walked up an average street there could be police dispersal powers in place which would be at a cost so how much did this cost in time and wages and who foots the bill, who agreed to it?
The complex is home to many businesses but the HSE is government ran by public funding so this incident will have tax-payer in part.
The HSE are known for its strict rules and regulations around health and safety at work yet in an ironic twist it was the Health and Safety Executive head office who sanctioned this sham evacuation in the first place not to forget taking part in it.
HSE refused to comment on the initial evacuation but have still to be asked the evacuation plan or the risk assessment checks that were made to save as much time as possible to be able to deal with other ongoing incidents across the North West.
A Mail article (linked below) from 2012 shows how the HSE is not always been the safest place to work with the organisation missing over half of its own targets.
Moore Evacuations On Merseyside?
The evacuation today follows another at Liverpool John Moores University just a week before today’s.
The evacuation in LJMU did not make the news but a worker at the University contacted Enchanted LifePath to provide inside knowledge after seeing this article.
The LJMU evacuation was in the same week that a Grenfell style construction error lead to another incident at a new £30 million apartment complex in the city centre with residents being evacuated.
An article on New Civil Engineer website reported on the drama as seen below.