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ICE to trial confidential reporting scheme

NEW PROPOSALS for an 18 month trial of a confidential reporting system for defects in structures are being considered by the ICE and IStructE this week.

The scheme worked up by the ICE/IstructE/HSE Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS) was due to be considered by the ICE's Structural and Building Board yesterday.

SCOSS secretary John Carpenter told NCE that the proposals were broadly similar to those submitted four years ago by a joint ICE/IStructE working party on which NCE was represented (NCE 2 July 1998). 'We are suggesting a 12 month trial preceded by three months of pre-launch publicity and setting up, and followed by a three month review period, ' Carpenter said.

'Things have moved on since the earlier proposals, with other industries such as rail introducing reporting schemes. The construction industry has to get better at feeding back data and learning from its mistakes.'

Like the first proposals, the report from SCOSS has already been provisionally accepted by the IStructE. Then, the cost of the trial was estimated at £40,000, split between the two institutions. Carpenter said his current estimate was 'of the same order'.

He added: 'I am stressing that the primary purpose of the scheme is to collect sufficient data for significant trends to be identified and credible warnings given of potential hazards.

'It is not a whistleblower's charter, it isn't designed to deal with one off situations on individual sites.'

Dave Parker

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