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Shirking responsibility?


Reading Robert Benaim's letter (NCE last week) left me feeling depressed.

Of course designers have a responsibility to ensure that what they do can be built. For too long contractors have been left to construct impossible designs.

For Mr Benaim to say that designers should not be burdened with the safety of the construction process, that it is unfair and will not improve safety, demonstrates a frightening lack of understanding of what the current law and common sense demand.

If Mr Benaim thinks it is a heavy burden for designers perhaps he should reflect on the burden of those on site when presented with something that is impossible to build.

Designers can do more.

Devoting money and resources to more inspectors is not the only answer. Educating our engineers has to be the way forward.

So what about a compulsory health and safety module in degree courses - 40 hours in a four year course is surely not out of the question. There is a school of thought that safety can be just 'picked up' on site but would we consider the same approach to using a level or calculating soil slip circles?

Charlie Hutchison (M), 110 Movilla Road, Newtownards, N Ireland, BR23 8RQ

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