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Safety claims can be 'ludicrous'


Our Institution's objective is defined in our Charter as 'to foster and promote the art and science of civil engineering'.

However, our own Health and Safety Board describes its objective as 'to facilitate best practice in the delivery of Health and Safety Management Policy'.

Although such an objective might be very valuable, it is not 'civil engineering', and I would question whether any direct support of such a specific objective is appropriate for our Institution.

A Health and Safety Board may have a place within the structure of the HSE, and we would need representation on such a board. Our Institution needs a formal body charged with critical review of the many unsubstantiated allegations that face us, especially from the HSE and the National Audit Office.

They might start with HSE reports RR156 and RR218, both of which have recently been published to support the proposition that 'the engineer' is to blame for most accidents.

Instead of this, they tell us that the majority of accidents involve roofing, scaffolding and housekeeping.

Many claims against designers are frankly ludicrous.

We must support engineers such as Andrew Allen when they are faced with what many of us would describe as politically motivated prosecution, or we shall fail in our duty to foster and promote civil engineering.

David Cooper (M), david@dijacooper.

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