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In the Myers


Kevin Myers prefers education to prosecution in the crusade to get the message across to designers (NCE last week).

However, one of his team, addressing a meeting at the ICE in March this year, said that rule 13 was undergoing redrafting to 'make it easier to nick designers'. Surely some mistake?

Myers repeats the mantra that a high proportion of construction deaths were attributable to the permanent works designer, quoting 'research' and 'stakeholder opinion'. No doubt the stakeholders are duly aware of the opinion of the HSE based on their published 'research', but one wonders if they have read it. Fact, not opinion, should be the basis of policy.

Designers in this industry can do more. But the evidence that they are causing deaths is hard to find. Designers who read Research Report 156 by Loughborough University, which purports to support the notion that permanent works designers are implicated in 40% of construction accidents, will find that the conclusions are not supported by the 'evidence' presented.

If we are to address the safety issue with any prospect of success designers must collectively address the real issues, not the politically correct ones. The cost of my abortive trial would have funded a specialist inspector for about 10 years. How many lives could have been saved by the appropriate use of resources?

Andrew J Allan (M), Allan Consulting Engineers, Studio 36, Heyford Park, Oxon OX25 5HD

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