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A critical situation?


Over the past months I have read a steady stream of complaints of the 'tisn't our fault' variety. Yet, as author of Health & Safety Executive Report 218, I have had not one single piece of correspondence relating to that report. Indeed I doubt whether most have read the report.

Mr Cooper (NCE 16 September) takes his negative comments yet further in criticising the ICE Health & Safety Board for its very existence. His remarks are particularly unhelpful. I do not recall meeting him at any of the consultation meetings on changes to Regulations that we repeatedly organise.

Our industry is diverse and complex. It includes within its richness those who enforce the rules which together we have set. We have earned our regulatory framework by our behaviour to date and by apathy. Until there is a sensible strategy for another way then we work with what we have in our industry, our legal system and our society.

It is beginning to look as if some in our industry think that our workforce is expendable.

It is not.

Design professionals need to take professional responsibility for the sites where their designs are to be built and for the interfaces they have with the team who are turning their creativity into fact.

At the next public meeting of the Health & Safety Board the Lord Chief Justice, Lord Woolf, will be speaking on Do the judiciary make any contribution to health and safety?'. This may have relevance for many as part of their professional development.

Liz Bennett, managing director, Habilis Health and Safety Solutions, 3 Market Place, Shipston on Stour, Warwickshire, CV36 4AG

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