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Words worth


I am afraid your report 'Legal small print leaves consultants vulnerable' (NCE last week) was incorrect. There has been one previous prosecution of a designer under Section 3 of the Health & Safety at Work Act 1974 - that of Geoconsult of Austria in relation to the collapse of the three tunnels under construction at Heathrow Airport in 1994.

The 'problem' you highlight for designers is not the wording of Section 3 of the 1974 Act, but the wording of Section 40 of the Act: this reverses the duty of burden of proof for all parts of every set of Regulations where the words 'so far as is reasonably practicable' occur.

Dr John Anderson, Chester, john@safeconstruction. net

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