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Management not just about programme and budget

Construction managers who concentrate on time and money and take their eye off the technical issues do so at their peril, said Ove Arup geotechnics director Bill Grose at the BTS seminar. His firm had been appointed by insurers following the Heathrow collapse to look into causation, and management had figured highly in its findings.

'Heathrow was not about a single cause but about a number of contributary causes acting together in order for the collapse to occur, ' he said.

'Today we have heard about design and some construction issues. At Ove Arup we came up with six factors which I won't go into now, other than to say that half of them were to do with management.'

Heathrow was not a new lesson, just a reminder that failure was not just a question of good or bad design, good or bad construction, but a question of management.

Sound technical management was vital, he said. Management could not be just about keeping to programme and budget.

Grose prefaced his remarks by expressing relief that his firm's findings were similar to those of WS Atkins, working for the Health & Safety Executive.

It was only recently that conclusions about the Heathrow failure were becoming less confidential and the findings of others better known.

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