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Poor Eurocode teaching poses safety threat, says SCOSS


DELAYS IN training undergraduates in the new structural Eurocodes could create a major safety hazard, structural safety experts have warned.

In its 13th report (NCE 21 June), the Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS) warned that 'inadequacies, inconsistencies and confusions' between British Standards and the new Eurocodes 'could constitute a background hazard to safety'.

It called for proper education and training in the Eurocodes 'to keep risks of errors leading to unsafe structures acceptably low'.

But this week SCOSS said one major problem was that not enough university courses were teaching Eurocode-based design. 'It's a real dilemma for the academic community, ' said SCOSS secretary Dr John Menzies. 'The transition from British to European codes will take years, and most graduates will probably use British codes when they first start work.'

But fellow SCOSS member Professor David Nethercotte of Imperial College said that some universities could well start teaching Eurocodes before the construction industry actually adopts them. 'The risk then is that graduates who've never seen the old British Code of Practice before will be using it in practice.'

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