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SCOSS calls for Centre for Construction Safety Excellence

The Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS) has called for a Centre for Construction Safety Excellence to be set up in its 16th biennial report.
The report also calls for a professorial Chair of Construction Safety at a UK University.

The centre could be modelled around Aberdeen University's post of Chair of Safety Engineering, currently held by Professor Michael Baker, which is geared towards the oil and off-shore industry.

The Aberdeen course delivers, 'The need for engineers to have a better understanding of safety and reliability issues stems from the increasing need to try to obtain a suitable balance between excessive safety and consequent waste of resources, on the one hand, and under-design with the possibility of high failure costs and undesired failure consequences on the other,' according to Baker, quoted in the SCOSS report.

The report suggests that the centre should be, 'Supported by a Steering Group (industrial panel) drawn from across industry (e.g. HSE, CIRIA, CIC, CC, CCG) as means of providing guidance and reinforcement of the academia/industry sectors.'

There are three models to explore:

1a - to fund a course, for example an MSc at an existing University. Cost - £50,000.

1b - to fund a five-year 'chair', tasked with developing the MSc, liaise with other centres and develop teaching materials. Cost - £375,000 over five years.

2 - to establish a new centre, including a Chair of Construction Safety. Cost - £525,000 over five years.

The report shows that some costs could be offset by sponsorship through industry or overnment.

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