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ICE acts on post-Grenfell recommendations

Grenfell Tower

The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) has committed to acting on recommendations put forward in its interim post-Grenfell infrastructure report, setting up three panels led by prominent engineers.

Three “task and finish” groups will explore how the ICE can help disaster-proof the industry by working on recommendations in past-ICE president Peter Hansford’s interim report, In Plain Sight – reducing the risk of infrastructure failure, published in November.

The review did not cover the Grenfell Tower fire itself, but instead looked at infrastructure and the risk of a catastrophic incident. While the panel behind the report (a separate panel to the three new ones being set up) found the risk of infrastructure failure to be relatively low, it did find areas where risks could occur, particularly around poor communication.

All three task and finish groups will report back with recommendations in April. The panel behind the Hansford review will then reconvene, taking recommendations into account for its final report.

“The institution is taking this work seriously,” said Hansford.

“I’m absolutely convinced that it will lead to positive change.”

Civil Engineering Contractors Association chief executive Alasdair Reisner will lead a group on lesson sharing after the interim report recommended the ICE should work closely with other institutions on learning from safety reviews, accidents and near misses.

It will also look at how well the ICE’s regional structure facilitates information sharing.

Past-ICE president Richard Coackley will run a panel on competence, researching whether the ICE’s continuing professional development (CPD) offering is robust enough in an increasingly digitised industry.

Hansford’s interim report said the ICE should take stock of its code of professional conduct to make sure it is fit for purpose.

Finally Network Rail engineering director Helen Samuels will look at how major infrastructure assets are governed after the report raised concerns over safety. The group will examine issues such as asset handovers, assurace and scrutiny.

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