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Trial and error

Letters

The item concerning consultant Andrew Allen (NCE last week) gave an illustration of the 'less rewarding' events that are intruding into the operations of the construction industry.

It is not surprising that Mr Allan has suffered four years of serious disruption to his and his family's life, awaiting a trial that ended in apparent fiasco. But, even having had to withdraw its prosecution, the HSE was reported to have said that it was disappointed in the outcome of the case.

From its comments it appears that the HSE is 'seeking to find a designer' against whom they can pursue a successful case for breach of section 13(2)(b) of the Construction (Design & Management) Regulations 'to underline designer responsibility as an aspect of construction safety'.

The HSE would do well to reflect that in trying to achieve successful prosecution of those considered to have failed in their duties, four years of pretrial anguish and financial hardship have been inflicted on an engineer, only to have the judge direct a not guilty verdict.

Jules Bishop (F), julesbishop@uku.co.uk

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