There appears to be a conspiracy in some parts of the profession to promote the importance of managerial ability as the distinguishing feature of a good engineer rather than the ability to solve engineering problems.
This excessive emphasis on the importance of management has clearly affected the Health and Safety Executive. The HSE has blamed the Ramsgate walkway failure on lack of 'effective project management' (NCE 3 February) instead of on the errors made by the designers. It also believes that such disasters can be prevented, not by employing competent designers, but by using a code of practice written specifically for the type of structure being designed.
Perhaps one of the promoters of such a code would like to propose a clause which is relevant to the particular failure which occurred at Ramsgate.
Barry Johnson (M), 6 Bradrushe Fields, Cambridge, CB3 0DW