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ICE to probe infrastructure risks after Grenfell

Grenfell Tower fire Kensington 3to2

Former ICE president Peter Hansford is to chair a review into risks of a catastrophic incident in the infrastructure industry following the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

Although the review will not look into the Grenfell Tower fire itself, it will investigate how civil engineers can avoid a similar disaster. Unlike the government’s review and the Construction Industry Council’s report, the ICE review will focus solely on infrastructure rather than housing and other buildings.

Hansford told New Civil Engineer that although it is too early to tell what could come out of the review, it was right to begin the investigation after the Grenfell Tower fire.

“We all have 2020 hindsight so of course you could always do these things at an earlier stage,” he said.

“I think the time is right, I think this incident has shocked the nation, shocked the profession, shocked the industry.”

Hansford explained that although the review will not inform the government’s inquiry, it will look to pinpoint fundamental failure risks in the infrastructure sector highlighted by the Grenfell Tower tragedy.

“I want to look at system-related risk, I think that’s quite an interesting area,” he said.

“While you might have integrity of individual elements, how do they work as a system? So that I think is a really important area for my review to look into.”

Lessons learnt from past failures will be assessed in the review, as well as how procurement practices affect the profession’s culture and how well guidance and standards are implemented.

The ICE expects to finish the review by the end of October, although it could be extended depending on what information comes out of the public inquiry.

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