I was highly intrigued and delighted at your news item about the rising costs of consultants insurance (NCE 24 January). It has been obvious to those who make a living from supervising siteworks on behalf of clients, engineers or architects, that in a few years time our services will again be in demand, to oversee the refurbishment work required on 'self-certification and design and build' projects which do not have independent inspection.
It seems, perhaps, that the insurance companies are at last waking up to the fact that with nobody on a project whose sole responsibility is quality control, there will inevitably be problems, and sooner rather than later.
With the major contractors now having fewer and fewer of their own site workers, standards are not being maintained.
I have discussed this on a number of occasions with major contractors QSs and their response to the question 'which comes first, quality or the bottom line?' always gives the same answer, and I'll leave you to guess which.
M Stewart, managing director, MacSpan, 11 Collingdon Green, High Spen, Tyne and Wear NE39 2DZ