Liz Bennett says 'design professionals need to take professional responsibility for the sites where their designs are to be built. . . .' (NCE 23 September). Designers can only take responsibility for what they are commissioned or have control over. Very few design assignments include this control and I believe the statement to be non-sustainable.
Andrew Allen's recent paper (IStructE Journal 3 August) gives a very balanced critique of the current situation, exposes some fallacious assertions and is well worth reading.
As for what designers should do, first we need our institutions and the Association of Consulting Engineers to lobby the Health & Safety Executive (HSE) for a deterministic method to measure compliance in design.
It is quite wrong that one cannot determine whether or not one is committing a criminal offence.
If the HSE tells us how to make our designs compliant then I am sure that we will.
Geoff M Pinfold, (F), NCL St James Consulting Engineers, 112 Regency Street, London, SW1P 4AX.