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Calls for CROSS safety reporting to be extended

grenfell tribute

Engineers face increased expectation to report safety concerns after the post-Grenfell Hackitt review into building regulations told a reporting group to up the pressure and expand.

Last week chair of the building regulations review Dame Judith Hackitt recommended better reporting of safety concerns in the construction industry.

As well as setting up a mandatory reporting scheme – with sanctions for failing to comply – for key workers on High Risk Residential Buildings (HRRBs), Hackitt said structural safety reporting body CROSS (confidential reporting on structural safety) should be extended to cover all engineering safety concerns.

CROSS was set up following a campaign led by New Civil Engineer in association with ICE. This followed a 1998 New Civil Engineer readership survey that showed overwhelming support for an anonymised reporting system similar to the long established CHIRP scheme covering the UK aviation industry.

Structural Safety director Alastair Soanes said that although the details of CROSS’s expansion have yet to be worked out, it would encourage more engineers to report safety concerns.

“Obviously this has been demonstrated to be a workable and good scheme because she’s recommended it, so we are pleased,” he said.

“It’ll give us more credibility and more status, and will encourage more people to report.”

Soanes stressed expanding CROSS’s reach in the construction industry could sway government policy by offering a larger pool of information.

He added: “If we could produce evidence that there was a trend which needed addressing, then we would have achieved one of the goals we have been after for years, which is to persuade government to make changes or consider changes.” 

CROSS and its sister programme SCOSS (standing committee on structural safety) are part of an organisation called Structural Safety, which takes anonymous safety concerns on the design, construction and use of structures and uses them to share lessons with the industry.

The CROSS scheme is expected to be rolled out across the industry within the next year.

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