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The database contains publications from CROSS-AUS and CROSS International partners. CROSS-AUS publications have the text ‘AUS’ in the publication title - all other publications are from CROSS International partners.

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Found 90 document/s:
Search Term: MAINTENANCE


22 Mobile phone masts

The concern of an overseas reporter is that erection, foundation design and construction, and maintenance of mobile phone masts are not carried out adequately.

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26 Scottish tenements

Tenements appear massive and solid but many are not particularly robust, and are quite vulnerable to accidental damage.

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47 Counterweight failure - Plank Lane Bridge (news)

A component failure on a British Waterways’ lift bridge has resulted in a 22 tonne counterweight falling some 5.0m onto a public highway.

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54 Walkable ceilings can deteriorate

A reporter has written about a complex and potentially far-reaching concern about unseen progressive deterioration in sandwich ceiling panels with mineral wool lamella cores.

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87 Long term risks for ground anchors

Two reporters have been involved in several projects or potential projects where riverside sites have been considered for redevelopment. In each case, the river wall forms part of the strategic flood defences for the area and typically comprises of driven steel sheet piling held back by tensioned ground anchors up to 30m (or more) in length and raked at angles between 25° and 50° to the horizontal.

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88 Concrete half joints

Failures in half joints can happen if reinforcement is not detailed properly. Recently the reporter’s firm has come across a half joint in some precast beams with a very poor reinforcement detail.

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106 Car park staircase collapse at construction joint

The top flight of a staircase to a multi-storey concrete car park collapsed approximately 10 years after construction. The stair was constructed insitu and cast against the existing slab which had protruding continuity reinforcement. The failure occurred at the construction joint between the slab and the stair landing.

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109 Balcony collapses (news)

A building expert says a balcony collapse which injured four people was a freak occurrence, but could easily have been prevented.

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118 Issues for CDM co-ordinators

The lesson of many failures is that poor detailing and joint failure commonly precipitate serious collapses. These may arise as straightforward structural deficiencies as exemplified by the spectacular failures of the Boulevard de la Concord Bridge in Quebec (2006) or the Minneapolis Bridge (2007), or they may be exacerbated by deficiencies in maintenance or poor design that inhibits the ability to inspect and maintain.

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119 Multi storey car park defects

A reporter has been concerned for some time that there potentially could be another failure similar to Pipers Row in Wolverhampton – see SCOSS Report number 10 page 18.

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127 Further Multi-Storey Car Park (MSCP) concerns

There are many older car parks which are suffering from neglect through lack of regular inspection and routine maintenance. Clients are alerted to structural defects generally only after significant deterioration has taken place and there is some visual evidence of a problem i.e. cracking. Early stages of structural failure often go unnoticed and by the time a significant defect is discovered the structure is too far gone to repair. Needless to say my main concern is for the users of the car park who have no idea how close it may be to collapse, and have put their total trust in us Structural Engineers.

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136 Public art structures

Engineers have noticed a trend for more works of “Public Art” being placed near to highways and in cities. The works may be large and warrant a significant engineering input but may be driven forward by persons without sufficient appreciation of the technical issues involved. Three examples are given.

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159 Decorative lights and banners can damage buildings

There is increasing pressure from advertisers and others to make use of existing highway and building features to hang banners and decorative lights. Often it is desired to suspend quite large banners between lighting columns across the street.

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187 Network Rail bridge collapse (news)

A train carrying kerosene, gas oil and diesel, came off the rails south of Stewarton on 27 January 2009. Six of the 10 wagons came off the rails during the incident and some caught fire. Power lines were also brought down and the nearby A735 was closed. It took the emergency services several hours to bring the fire under control.

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200 Confidential reporting on Structural Safety for Scottish Buildings - SCOTCROSS

The final report on risks from falling masonry in Scotland, Confidential reporting on Structural Safety for Scottish Buildings -SCOTCROSS carried out by SCOSS using its CROSS system (Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety), was published in 2008 by the Building Standards Division, Directorate for the Built Environment, of the Scottish Government. It stems from a recommendation by the Construction Industry Council for Scotland in their 2003 report ‘Risks to Public Safety from Falling Masonry and Other Materials’. Information was obtained on materials and debris that fell from buildings, or was at risk of falling, from Scottish Local Authorities. They provided 1,275 reports over a two year period giving a wealth of data in a format devised by CROSS including age, type and size of building, type of ownership, use, material concerned, and other factors

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271 Piling platform failure

While back screwing an auger, the ground began to fail under the foot of the rig causing it to sink forwards and collapse.

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340 Nuts falling from tension glazing system

A reporter says that he was asked to look at an office building containing glass curtain walling where a steel nut had fallen from the walling into the atrium area below. The walling comprised up to four storeys of large glass panels supported by secondary steelwork running vertically. The secondary steelwork was formed from tension rods arranged in X-shapes stacked vertically, and screwed in to cast components. These cast components in turn connected to clamps to the corners of each glazing panel.

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352 Car park barrier failure

A reporter discusses the load capacity of barriers in car parks following the failure of a barrier which caused a fatality.

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387 Bearings

A reporter says that the long term characteristics and behaviour of bearings are often underestimated.

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407 Unsafe timber scaffolding

A rickety temporary scaffold had been constructed from 4”x2” (100mm x 50mm) timber and scaffold boards apparently nailed together, says a reporter.

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435 Balcony strengths of blocks of flats - further experiences

A reporter's firm have been undertaking structural assessments of cantilevered reinforced concrete walkways, which in the majority of cases have been found to be under strength.

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442 Apollo Theatre London ceiling collapse (news)

In January 2014 Westminster City Council circulated some interim guidance regarding the management of suspended ceilings. The investigation of the partial collapse of the suspended ceiling at the Apollo Theatre in Shaftesbury Avenue London is still in progress and the Council now have a better understanding of the failure mode of the ceiling. A key element of the interim advice is for theatres to understand the form of construction of their individual ceilings and how the constituent parts are joined together and ultimately supported from the main structure. Some of the relevant information about the Apollo Theatre ceiling is given in this report.

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485 Freeze and thaw of another RHS

Further to reports about the freezing of water in hollow sections a correspondent has sent photos of a section of mild steel RHS that was removed from a bridge travelling maintenance gantry in 1995, that shows the bulging that can occur when RHS is not drained and ice forms.

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500 Partly demolished site

Existing buildings on a city centre site were partly demolished to make way for a new development but the work was delayed and ownership changed.

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517 Flaws with partial encasements around steel columns

A structural assessment found that steel columns encased in concrete to mid-storey height were heavily corroded directly above the top of the encasements.

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537 Metal panel blown off roof

During some exceptionally gusty winds, a metal roof panel was blown off an office building roof onto a railway station roof below.

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549 Fall of material from bridge soffit

Reports about materials falling from bridges have been sent by a bridge owner and some are given below.

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568 Sea wall collapse at Mostyn (news)

A train driver reported waves coming over the sea wall at Mostyn. Maintenance staff on site then closed both lines as the sea wall had collapsed in two places.

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651 Failure of fabricated access staging board

A member of a team working on a major bridge reported a close call after the supporting mesh flooring on a new access staging system gave way under his foot.

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683 Corrosion causes collapse of steel floodlight mast at football club

This is an Alert that was issued by a Local Authority responsible for enforcing the Safety of Sports Grounds Act after a floodlighting mast collapsed at a football club's ground.

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742 Add-on roof truss failure

Visiting a property for an unrelated matter, a reporter spotted something odd about the roof; the gable had bulged one end and movement had clearly occurred.

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764 Hidden defects in railway masonry arch viaducts

A reporter is concerned about the sell-off of spaces under railway arches, as it may become difficult to carry out inspections and maintenance.

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784 Swapping insulation behind cladding without adjusting details

A reporter is concerned that insulation behind cladding is being swapped without a full appreciation of the implications.

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793 Street sign collapse causes fatality

This report highlights the potential dangers of street signs on fixed vertical supports subject to wind loading.

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AUS-2 Concern over the quality of steel fabrication for street furniture

A reporter, who is a metal worker, expresses their concern about the quality and maintenance of welded fabricated steel structures.

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804 Inadequate structural design on some industrial steel structures

On some industrial projects associated with plant, a reporter's firm believes that steel structures are being erected without a design being carried out by a competent structural engineer and are therefore potentially dangerous.

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AUS-12 Maintenance of multi-storey buildings

A correspondent notes that the issues currently affecting several high-rise buildings in Australia are inevitably focused on design, construction, and certification; whereas there are other issues relating to ongoing inspection, maintenance, and (ultimately) demolition which seem to have been ignored.

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911 Suspended ceiling collapse in high-rise tower block

Concerns are raised about where designers duties lie in certain contractual relationships.

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5001 Cladding - the case for improving inspection

SCOSS ALERT (2000) A survey of SCOSS reports over the past 23 years (1977-2000) points up the problems relating to design and inspection of cladding, and the difficulties of changing bad and sometimes unsafe practice. Inspection of structures in service is generally recognised as being necessary to contribute to assurance of safety and to provide a basis for decisions on maintenance and repair. Over the years, in the 12 reports which have appeared since 1977, SCOSS has drawn attention to structures where the current level of inspections appears to be insufficient to identify emerging unsafe situations, or where there is a particular inspection difficulty.

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5009 Suspended access platform collapse: Chicago 2002

SCOSS FAILURE DATA SHEET (2006) In 2002 a suspended access platform fell from the 100 storey John Hancock building in Chicago, USA. Although no-one was on the platform at the time, three motorists were killed and several pedestrians were injured as a result of flying debris. The subsequent investigations brought to light a series of faults. The City of Chicago amended its statutory requirements as a consequence of the findings. Civil action resulted in some $70M damages in negligence claims.

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5011 The collapse of NATM tunnels at Heathrow airport

SCOSS FAILURE DATA SHEET (2004) In October 1994 a section of tunnel being constructed at Heathrow Airport collapsed; although there were no injuries, many people were put at risk and the consequential cost was significant. A number of the lessons arising from this collapse can be applied to engineering projects generally.

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5012 Partial collapse of the 'de la Concorde' overpass bridge: Laval Canada

SCOSS FAILURE DATA SHEET (2008) On 30th September 2006 the central ‘drop-in’ span of the de la Concorde highway over-bridge in Laval, Canada, suddenly collapsed onto the road below causing 5 fatalities and 6 injuries. This shocked both the general public and the professional communities. A Commission of Inquiry was quickly established and this reported in October 2007.

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5013 The fire at the Torre Windsor office building, Madrid 2005

SCOSS FAILURE DATA SHEET (2008) The 30 storey Torre Windsor office building was constructed in the 1970s. It consisted of a reinforced concrete core and six reinforced concrete columns within the floor plate area, and steel load-bearing mullions (steel edge columns) around the perimeter. At the time of the design the relevant codes did not require these mullions to have any fire protection. The floor was of concrete waffle slab construction. There were ‘strong’ transfer floors at the 3rd and 17th levels.

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5051 Assessment and inspection of buildings

SCOSS TOPIC PAPER 2003 SCOSS has been concerned for some time (1) at the potential for deterioration of buildings and other facilities during their working lives such that there results an inadequate reserve of strength against collapse of the whole or part of the structure.

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5055 A risk managed framework for ensuring robustness

SCOSS TOPIC PAPER (2006) This paper describes an holistic approach to the process of ensuring robustness, utilising appropriate people, processes and products. It emphasises the need for a team approach having regard to all the stages in the structures life, and all the parties involved. It is placed on the SCOSS website for information and discussion. It does not deal with the technical detail or options to assuring robustness.

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5058 The assumptions behind the Eurocodes

SCOSS TOPIC PAPER (2009) All design codes of practice are constructed around a number of assumptions and limitations; these relate to the competency of those using the code, the analysis and design process and the material itself. In the traditional ‘BS’ codes of practice these assumptions generally featured in the Foreword or Introduction e.g. BS5950, Clause 1.0. This note considers the implications of the equivalent assumptions relating to the structural Eurocodes which are given in BS EN1990.

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5061 Communication processes

Extract from 11th SCOSS report 1997 The generally good record of structural safety in the United Kingdom depends substantially on the effectiveness of communication processes which, for conve­nience, may be considered to be either direct or indirect. Direct communication processes may be defined as those used explicitly by the owner, designer/specifier, contractor/subcontractor and operator/maintenance contractor with any associated regulatory control, in the procurement, management and maintenance of specific structures. Indirect communication processes are those which support the direct ones. They include preparation of legislation, codes of practice, standards and guidance documents, research backup to innovation and development, and feedback of experience.

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5064 Codes of practice, standards and guidance documents

Extract from 11th SCOSS report 1997 Codes of practice, standards and guidance documents play an important role in communicating information on accepted practice in design and construction. A plethora of such documents exists to help the direct processes of providing structural safety. The numbers grow as essential revisions and new subjects are introduced in response to advances in the business processes and technology of construction. Additional revisions and new documents are also arising from pressure to modify codes to a performance basis to facilitate competition within the Single European Market.

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5065 Feedback of experience

Extract from 11th SCOSS report 1997 Communication processes which feed back information from experience are of the greatest importance in view of the trends and changes referred to above. Two types of feedback process can be distinguished: * the accumulation of knowledge and experience by those directly involved in all stages of procurement and use of structures, * the gathering together and distillation of experience through consensus by professional institutions, standards bodies, trade associations, etc. and its feedback into education, training and current practice.

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5066 Changes in national construction-related organisations

Extract from 11th SCOSS report 1997 Changes in the business processes of construction were signalled in the 1995 report of the Technology Foresight Panel on construction. The report presented a vision of the construction industry with a future of lower costs, greater profitability and responsibility. The accompanying changes have a potential to undermine structural safety which should be recognised.

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5070 Resistance to disproportionate collapse

Robustness is a desirable attribute of all structures, but has not yet been embraced wholly (1997) in Part A of the Building Regulations. It is perhaps implicit in Regulation A1 but is now only an explicit requirement in Regulation A3 for buildings of five or more storeys in height. The arguments in support of the recommendation were given in the Tenth Report and have been expanded upon elsewhere(55). SCOSS remains concerned that this recommendation has not been implemented. Feedback indicates an adverse trend amongst some structural designers which is leading to structures whose ability to resist accident or exceptional circumstances may be insufficient(56).

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5071 Design and build

Extract from 11th SCOSS report 1997 SCOSS has considered whether some forms of design and build contract might introduce safety loopholes not normally experienced with more traditional forms of contract.

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5077 Bridge assessment and strengthening

Extract from 11th SCOSS report 1997 The 15-year Bridge Rehabilitation Programme for trunk roads in the United Kingdom, launched in 1988, has continued(93). Highway bridge assessment and strengthening are taking account of the predicted effects of increased maximum permitted lorry weights from 1999 under new EU Directives for international transport.

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5081 Pin connections in bridges and building structures

Extract from 11th SCOSS report 1997 Pin connections have, for many years, been a structural feature sometimes used to implement the concept of steel bridges. Such connections are being used increasingly today in building structures particularly in roof structures, e.g. sports stadia. Articulating structures using pins are also common, e.g. link spans to berthed ships. Arrangements of rods, cables and turnbuckles to support building elements are often a feature of modern architecture and use a similar concept of pin connection. These arrangements however, may have no articulation function and no rotation may be required at connections.

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5083 Air-supported and fabric structures

Extract from 11th SCOSS report 1997 The construction of air-supported structures is a very small industry in the United Kingdom. They are subject to control under Building Regulations in Scotland and Northern Ireland. However, in England and in Wales, local authority policies differ over whether or not they should be regarded as a form of temporary structure. This variation in their treatment can lead to confusion and a coherent policy is desirable.

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5091 Codes and standards for structural design

Extract from 12th SCOSS report 1999 SCOSS Reports have on several occasions made recommendations to the British Standards Institution (BSI) for revision, review or withdrawal of specific British Standard (BS) codes of practice relating to structural engineering. Most recently, the recommendations have expressed concerns about wider issues relating to the growing portfolio of structural engineering codes and standards, including those developed on a European basis, compatibility between them and their maintenance in an up-to-date user-friendly form.

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5095 Bridge assessment

Extract from 12th SCOSS report 1999 The UK’s stock of about 150,000 bridges is owned and managed by relatively few organisations, principally central government, county and other local authorities, Railtrack Plc, London Underground Limited and British Waterways. Considerable expertise and resources are needed to assess the condition, load-carrying capacity and maintenance requirements of these bridges in view of their diversity of ages, forms of construction, materials, and loading. Maximum permitted weights of heavy lorries are due to be increased in 1999 but the substantial programme of highway bridge assessment and strengthening to accommodate the increased loading has fallen behind schedule.

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5096 Multi-storey car parks including edge barriers - technical issues

Extract from 12th SCOSS report 1999 SCOSS has been concerned about structural safety of multi-storey car parks for some years, and published recommendations about periodic inspection and structural appraisal, edge barriers and updating of current guidance in its Tenth and Eleventh Reports. The concerns were highlighted by incidents involving edge barriers at a car park in Canterbury in January 1996 and February 1998, and by the partial collapse of the top deck of the Piper’s Row car park in Wolverhampton in March 1997.

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5097 Safety of sports stadia structures

Extract from 12th SCOSS report 1999 During 1998, SCOSS received expressions of concern that many large sports structures may not be receiving adequate structural inspections and appraisal of their safety as they continue in use. Their major structural elements are often exposed to the weather and thus are vulnerable to corrosion or other degradation processes. Some stadia structures have extremely large elements spanning stands that seat thousands of people. Trusses more than 100 m long and cantilevers having projections greater than 50 m have been used in some recent structures.

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5098 Cladding on buildings

Extract from 12th SCOSS report 1999 Failures of stone cladding, glass cladding, and other facede treatments have been of concern to SCOSS.

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5103 Quality management systems and design

Extract from 12th SCOSS report 1999 In the trial relating to the Ramsgate walkway failure, one of the main criticisms of the port authority client was its failure to stipulate in the contractual arrangements adequate requirements for quality assurance. The criticisms revealed, however, a degree of uncertainty as to what requirements should have been imposed and whether they would have been effective to prevent the failure.

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5112 Codes and standards

Extract from 13th SCOSS report 2001 Safety of structures has commonly been achieved in design, since the advent of structural testing and analysis in engineering, through consideration of the assembly of structural elements and the use of safety factors. The total structural concept and the form of the assembly has been decided largely intuitively from overall considerations with the aid of analyses using simplified mathematical models. Risks in loading, materials and workmanship have then been covered by the application of load factors and safety factors in the design of elements. The prototypical nature of most structures militates against the regular use of other methods, such as full-scale testing.

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5113 Competence and integrity

Extract from 13th SCOSS report 2001 Design, assessment, construction, maintenance and repair work should be undertaken and supervised by appropriately qualified and experienced people. This requirement for competence provides the main line of defence against errors being made that may jeopardise safety or indeed other aspects of the work, especially costs and programme. Qualification, experience and engineering common sense should enable competent engineers to identify the relevant risks (including naturally-occurring and man-made risks and the risks associated with design, assessment, construction and maintenance processes), decide on the structural concept and design the structural system as a whole so that the structure would be safe over its specified design life.

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5116 Application of risk assessment methods

Extract from 13th SCOSS report 2001 Evolution from prescriptive codes-based approaches towards a more systematic and rigorous approach to preventing failures in engineering systems began following experience and inquiries into catastrophic failures in the nuclear, chemical process, offshore oil and railway industries and the increasing understanding of the human contribution to accidents. The emphasis in these industries has turned more to a 'goal-setting' approach in which hazards are identified and assessed and then measures determined to control the risks arising.

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5117 Dynamic response of structures

Extract from 13th SCOSS report 2001 The use of static design loads makes for ease of design, although it does not, by definition, examine dynamic response from variable or rhythmic loading. It produces structurally-safe designs for most structures because they are sufficiently stiff such that dynamic responses or vibrations are inhibited. In these situations there may nevertheless be a need to take account of the variations in loading in the design.

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5121 Climate Change (2001 view)

Extract from 13th SCOSS report 2001 The naturally occurring environmental hazards that threaten the structural safety of a building, bridge or other civil engineering structure arise primarily from the climate and sometimes from naturally occurring chemicals or earthquake phenomena at the location of the structure. The main climatic hazards are the effects of extreme wind, snow, rain, ice and temperature (including flooding, scour, settlement and instability of the ground). The risks associated with these hazards are usually controlled using predictions of extremes based on historical data of magnitude and frequency. In structural engineering, it is generally assumed that future risks will be the same as historical risks. This may not be the case if the climate changes.

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5123 Risk management of structures

Extract from 14th SCOSS report 2003 Although the need to avoid, mitigate and control structural risk at the time of design, over the lifespan of a structure, has been a requirement for many years, it is often not well done. We only have to look around at the UK’s infrastructure to see examples of deterioration or misuse, and cause for concern. SCOSS has commented and raised such concerns on various aspects of this subject on previous occasions.

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5124 Gathering of information on matters of structural safety

Extract from 14th SCOSS report 2003 The effective distribution of information is key to any industry; this is particularly so when the information relates to experiences of safety related issues, be they actual events such as failures, or ‘near misses’ where, but for a degree of good luck, a serious event could have arisen or may arise in the future, or concern relates to procedures which create or allow unacceptable risk potential. Despite the very real advances in technology and management techniques made over recent times, the profession needs to remain vigilant in respect of the control and management of those risks giving rise to a reduction in structural safety. It is not difficult to find examples to support this thesis.

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5125 Eurocodes

Extract from 14th SCOSS report 2003 In some respects the forthcoming introduction of structural Eurocodes will represent the greatest change to the manner in which UK engineers go about the business of specification and design, ever experienced by the construction industry. CP110 (introduced in 1972), was the first Code of Practice to introduce limit state design for buildings. The adoption of this new code (now developed as BS8110) was nowhere near as demanding a challenge as will be the case with the new Eurocodes. The new code in 1972 was but one document of modest proportions, covering concrete alone and was introduced in the days of scale fees and in the ab sence of today’s commercial pressures. Bridge designers had already adopted this methodology some years earlier following the Merrison report(1); limit state design for building steelwork did not appear until 1985 with the first edition of BS5950.

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5127 Alerts and other matters

Extract from 14th SCOSS report 2003 The Committee has issued a number of Alerts and other advice since the publication of Report 13 in May 2001. Alerts are issued when there is a subject that the Committee believes requires more immediate attention than would be achieved via an occasional publication such as the Bulletin or Biennial Report. The full text of all the Alerts and other commentaries may be found on the web site.

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5132 Certification, use of products and other associated matters

Extract from 15th SCOSS report 2005 In recent years ‘certification’ has taken on a greater prominence and importance. CE marking is now appearing on many products, ‘self certified’ work under the Building Regulations is permitted, subject to certain constraints, and there is an expectation in many fields that products and services should in some way be assured. Whilst overall this is to be encouraged, this move has identified a number of uncertainties. The Committee would be concerned if ‘certification’ was to be utilised in circumstances where risk to structural safety could result from inappropriate application or mistaken reliance.

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5135 Impounding structures

Extract from 15th SCOSS report 2005 There are estimated to be some 2,100 reservoirs, over 25,000 cubic metres capacity, in England and Wales. Of these it is considered that around 70% pose a potential risk to life.

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5138 Deterioration of building stock

Extract from 15th SCOSS report 2005 It is axiomatic that the nation has an ageing building stock. In particular however, the proportion of the nation’s building stock that was part of the very significant growth experienced in the 1960s is now some 40 years old. In fact, the post-war growth in general has not just been in volume terms, but also in terms of technological advance. As is well known, not all of this advance was without its problems, e.g. large panel structures (Ronan Point), high alumina cement (Camden School). In the field of bridge engineering box girder construction also led to difficulties (Milford Haven).

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5139 Lessons from failure: reflecting on the work of SCOSS over the last 30 years

Extract from 16th SCOSS report 2007 Structural failure continues to be a matter of great concern: within the last two years we have witnessed the collapse of the Gerrards Cross tunnel, the Milton Keynes scaffolding, the Montreal highway bridge and a number of construction cranes. The Buncefield explosion and fire at Hemel Hempstead in December of 2005, although not a ‘structural engineering failure’ in the first instance, does nonetheless raise a number of lessons for us all. How is it that, with an abundance of experience, quality codes of practice, and the lessons of previous failures to draw upon, these events continue?

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5140 Confidential reporting on structural safety

Extract from 16th SCOSS report 2007 CROSS was launched by SCOSS in June 2005 [1] after a long gestation period. This scheme is unique to the construction industry, but not so generally, as other industries had seen the benefit of such reporting some time before. CROSS is designed around the principles adopted for the UK Confidential Human Factors Incident Reporting Programme (CHIRP) which operates for the aircraft industry, and which has been running for 20 years and now receives around 250 reports annually. In all such programmes complete confidentiality is maintained. Indeed the NASA supported Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) has had over 700,000 reports in 30 years without confidentiality ever having been breached.

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5141 Independent review of structures

Extract from 16th SCOSS report 2007 SCOSS has been considering how best to promote the public safety requirements inherent in large or complex projects where a typical numerical check against design code may not be sufficient and where a different approach can bring broader benefit to the project. One way in which this can be achieved is by introducing the concept of an independent review. The independent review is not a further layer of bureaucracy; it is designed to be useful to all parties and to assist in reducing risks and adding value to the project at affordable cost to the client. It is already accepted in specific sectors as a client-sponsored safeguard which recognises that the wider benefits greatly outweigh the additional cost.

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5142 Centre of construction industry safety excellence

Extract from 16th SCOSS report 2007 Although the construction industry has made significant strides in recent years, in terms of improving its safety record, there is some way to go before it can claim success. It is considered that a major influence in achieving these future improvements will be the role of academia in: * delivering the core risk management education to its students such that they graduate, with the appropriate knowledge base, * providing specialist learning opportunities, e.g. MSc courses, * providing co-ordinated industry-linked research to allow and encourage knowledge transfer. At present there is no co-ordinated network between industry, the regulator (HSE) and academia. This is considered to be a significant shortcoming and a barrier to progress.

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5143 Robustness: disproportionate collapse

Extract from 16th SCOSS report 2007 The Committee has reviewed this topic on a number of occasions over the period since the last Report. It is a wide and complex subject, but one that is fundamental to the establishment of safe structures. In recognition of this situation, SCOSS sponsored a workshop in October 2006, to allow discussion amongst interested parties. These included the material sectors, Building Control, checking engineers, Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG - responsible for the building regulations), and specific interested individuals. From this, four threads of concern have been identified as outlined below.

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6009 Snow loads on agricultural and other building structures (March 2011)

Snowfalls in 2010, and in the early part of 2011, caused a significant number of agricultural and associated buildings in Scotland, and a small number in the North of England, to partially fail or to collapse. The likely causes include the build-up or drifting of snow on roofs, the age of the buildings, weaknesses in original design or construction, and lack of maintenance. Prolonged periods of snow deposition and very low temperatures were experienced which contributed to snow compaction and increased snow densities. In some cases, snow depths of 50-60cm on roofs have been reported.

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Liability for car park maintenance British Parking Association 2011

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Newsletter No 3 - July 2006

In the 12 months since CROSS was launched reports have been received on: Building Control Issues, Collapses, Construction, Design, Engineers on Site, Materials, Near Misses, and Temporary Works. In this Newsletter reports are all related to existing structures. The Newsletters in which these are published have a potential readership of over 50,000 engineers and others in the construction industry not only in the UK but worldwide. Every reader will have had experiences that they use in their own work to avoid future problems. If your reading of a Newsletter triggers recollection of a similar experience that you feel should be taken up then please make a report to CROSS. The goal is to provide an effective avenue for identifying real concerns (which are often not raised through other routes) in order to promote a culture of learning and influence action by Government, Institutions and other bodies. In time, the scheme will also become an important resource of knowledge for the construction community. New buildings represent only a small proportion of the total building stock. As a national resource the number and value of old buildings is much greater and they need protection, maintenance and improvement. These matters are assuming more importance as energy efficiency, water savings, and other sustainability issues are increasingly relevant. Accordingly this Newsletter addresses concerns found with some older buildings, and the potential problems with conversions and alterations. Other reports received in the last three months will be held over for future Newsletters. Reports from contributors have identifying features removed and may be edited to give more clarity and may be shortened, but the views expressed remain those of the authors. Comments given at the end of each report are those from the SCOSS sub group of representatives from the industry. Material from the reports will be used by SCOSS to detect trends so that appropriate action can be taken and advice given.

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Newsletter No 11 - July 2008

In this edition there are examples which show the importance of inspection and maintenance on external structures. The failure of a culvert roof was prevented by timely inspection but the staircase in a multi-storey car park collapsed. There are comments on precast joint failures, the failure of a lifting bolt, and another case of a member that was found to be cracked after galvanising. A query about partition loads for timber construction is answered. If attention is paid to these warnings potential collapses will be avoided. SCOSS/CROSS intends to develop a website to allow designers, contractors, and checkers, to search for issues relating to their field of work but this depends upon getting additional funding. In the meantime engineers can read the CROSS Newsletters, which are all on the web site, and contribute their own anecdotes and experiences. Safeguards are in place to ensure the confidentiality of reporters by removing references that might identify a person, a firm, a project, a product, or other distinguishing feature. Reports can however be submitted with no identification except for the name of the reporter. This is to be sure of authenticity but after telephone confirmation names are not kept and the original documents are returned to reporters. Reports may be sent on behalf of firms or organisations so that there is more openness and a wider distribution of lessons from which others may learn. The director of CROSS will always be pleased to discuss how a concern may be addressed. For the scheme to continue to thrive more reports are needed so if you have an experience that could be passed on please send a report by post or email or simply by telephone. In the reports that follow the normal text is that of the reporter, whilst the italic comments in green are from the CROSS panel of experts.

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Newsletter No 22 - April 2011

Events in Japan and in New Zealand show the cataclysmic consequences of earthquakes on people, infrastructure, and structures. As the world becomes more crowded and complex more of its citizens will be at risk from the effects of extreme occurrences; some natural and some man made. A confidential reporting scheme such as CROSS is not going to be sent information about the aftermath of an earthquake, but the principle of searching for the precursors of larger failures must be relevant. There will be many lessons to be learned from the catastrophes of the last few months and if these can be analysed, stored, disseminated, and particularly if they can be used as reminders, then the severity of the effect of future events may be reduced. In this Newsletter there are two significant reports about the design principles for very tall and unusual buildings and the comments from our panel of experts emphasise the need for proper analytical procedures and the importance of robustness. There are the reports about; falsified documentation, the failure of fixings used to connect a scaffold to a structure, a scaffold which did not meet design criteria, the question of errata in manuals, and once again the design of free standing masonry walls. A SCOSS Alert - Snow loads on agricultural and other building structures (March 2011) has been issued following snowfalls in 2010, and in the early part of 2011, which caused a significant number of agricultural and associated buildings in Scotland, and a small number in the North of England, to partially fail or to collapse. The likely causes include the build-up or drifting of snow on roofs, the age of the buildings, weaknesses in original design or construction, and lack of maintenance. Prolonged periods of snow deposition and very low temperatures were experienced which contributed to snow compaction and increased snow densities. In some cases, snow depths of 50-60cm on roofs have been reported. CROSS needs reports all the time so that lessons can be learned and if you can contribute please do so. Reports are edited to remove names and identifying details and are printed in normal text in the Newsletters. Comments from the panel of experts are printed in green italics. All reports together with comments are on the web site data base.

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Newsletter No 24 - October 2011

This Newsletter is the first to be published on the new Structural-Safety web site (www.structural-safety.org) which combines the activities of SCOSS and CROSS. For those who were receiving publications from either group there is no need to re-register, and those who wish to register for the first time will find a link on the home page of the new web site. The need for continued vigilance has been illustrated in recent weeks with the dramatic and deadly collapses of two major temporary stage roofs: one in Indiana USA, and one in Belgium, with a total of eleven fatalities and many injuries, and several other recent collapses of similar structures. The subject is being considered by SCOSS and their views will be published in due course. There has also been the collapse, with two deaths, of a cantilever stadium roof being erected in Holland, the death of a man in London from falling masonry, and the collapse of a large canopy under construction at a UK school with several injuries. Reports in this issue of the Newsletter start with the comprehensive description of design error provided by a major firm of consulting engineers. This is much appreciated as it has been provided with the full backing of the company concerned. CROSS is a platform for sharing information without revealing names or identifiable details and the more widely CROSS is trusted the more effective it will become. Other reports deal with construction issues including tower crane bases, the care needed when using certain epoxy grouts where there are high ambient temperatures, another retaining wall failure, and more concerns about lack of control and supervision on sites. DRD Roads Services in Northern Ireland have become the latest Government Department to join CROSS as a backer and this follows the arrangements already in place with the Highways Agency in England. Their Safety Management Procedures now include a section on the confidential reporting scheme and any issues that would help with lessons to be learned will be passed on through senior management. The Department is responsible for: • regional strategic planning and development policy; • transport strategy and sustainable transport policy; • provision and maintenance of all public roads; • public transport policy and performance; • certain policy and support work for air and sea ports; and • policy on water and sewerage services and management of the Department’s shareholder interest in Northern Ireland Water. The CROSS programme depends on receiving reports and individuals and firms are encouraged to participate by sending concerns in confidence to structural-safety.

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Newsletter No 26 - April 2012

The first three reports are about the condition and quality of aging multi-storey car parks which are common in city centres in the UK and elsewhere and usually located where large numbers of people may congregate. The reports suggest that there are structures which have deteriorated and could be at risk of failure and these echo concerns that have been expressed over a long period. Indeed in the past year it is reported that several car parks have had to be demolished on safety grounds and the condition of others is unknown. Engineers must use their influence to ensure that regular inspections are carried out and the necessary maintenance is undertaken. There follows an interesting question about the behaviour of high strength concrete columns intersected by slabs with a much lower strength. Does this have an effect? The next report is about water ingress into RHS columns and the consequences of freezing, whilst the final report concerns responsibilities of those involved in a Competent Person’s Scheme. CROSS reports are received from engineers in a wide range of circumstances as demonstrated by the diversity of subjects that are covered. Newsletters are received and read by a good number of organisations and individuals and feedback is that the contents are found be interesting and useful. The web site is visited to search the data base and the bigger this gets the better. However there is always a need for more reports and the message which appears at this point in every Newsletter is really important. If you see value or gain anything by reading the reports then please reciprocate by sending in your own experiences. The CROSS programme depends on receiving reports and individuals and firms are encouraged to participate by sending concerns in confidence to structural-safety.

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Newsletter No 30 - April 2013

This issue concentrates on competency and on issues identified on site. Statistics are collected from reports and one category is the stage of a project when a concern is identified. As shown in the pie chart almost a half of all events, 44%, are related to construction (34%) and temporary works (10%), with design accounting for 13%, and normal operations i.e. building or structure in use, 34%. Maintenance operations amount to 5% of the total and there are a few other minor categories. Lack of competency is reported to be a major reason for most of the safety-critical matters described below. It is very satisfactory to note that there is now a backlog of reports awaiting publication and in order to control this some reports will in future be added directly to the data base after anonymising rather than being included in Newsletters. Reporters will be told if this is to happen and lists will be given in Newsletters. All reports, together with expert comment from our panel of volunteers, are on the data base which is freely searchable. The growth of the CROSS programme depends on receiving reports and individuals and firms are encouraged to participate by sending concerns in confidence to structural-safety.

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Newsletter No 33 - January 2014

Since the last Newsletter there have been two major collapses of shopping mall roofs: one which was under construction near Durban killed two, and the other in Latvia which killed fifty four and has resulted in the fall of the government. A major objective of CROSS is to publish concerns which might be precursors to more major failures so that they may be recognised. In the last Newsletter (No 32 October 2013) the first report was “Partial roof collapse at shopping centre” which described a collapse that occurred at night and fortunately there was nobody underneath. Had it happened during the day it could have been in the same category as Durban and Latvia. The lesson to be learned is that large numbers of people congregate underneath shopping mall roofs and they are safety critical structures deserving close attention during design, construction, and maintenance. Just before Christmas there was a partial collapse of a ceiling at a theatre in London. Several reports on failures of heavy ceilings can be found on www.structural-safety.org by entering "ceiling" into the Quick search box on any page. Our comments on this at the time were: The danger of falling ceilings is not new; there is old cinematographic legislation that was brought in because of failures with lath and plaster ceiling fixings. The Home Office document ‘Recommendations on Safety in Cinemas 1955’, and which is still relevant says: “Ceilings shall be in such a condition as not to cause a danger to persons visiting the premises”. Another precursor - and in this Newsletter there is a report about a suspended ceiling failure in an old building due to faulty installation of fixings. This Newsletter also has reports on other events that have occurred in service including the collapse of a balcony due to mis-placed rebar and a further example of RHS sections splitting when water is trapped and freezes. Several reports which have been received from concerned engineers about the possible consequences of cut price design and about responsibilities are also shown. The new Structural-Safety web site has been launched and whilst it looks much the same as before there is a new content management system running in the background. This handles published reports, as well as providing a platform for other countries to have their own schemes. The first to join is Southern Africa which encompasses the Republic of South Africa, Angola, Botswana, Lesotho, Mozambique, Swaziland, Zambia, and Zimbabwe. Their Sponsors are the Joint Structural Division, the South African Institution of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers. Details are to be found by going to the International page and a warm welcome is extended to participants in these countries. The site will be further developed in the coming months. The success of the CROSS programme depends on receiving reports, and individuals and firms are encouraged to participate by sending concerns in confidence to Structural-Safety. More reports are always needed.

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Newsletter No 51 - July 2018

Implications for Structural-Safety from the Hackitt Report The Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety: final report from Dame Judith Hackitt sets out a vision for a cultural change in building safety. It recommends a model of risk ownership, with clear responsibilities for the Client, Designer, Contractor and Owner to demonstrate the delivery and maintenance of safe buildings. This is initially for HRRBs (Higher Risk Residential Buildings) but many of the changes will affect all buildings in due course. Whilst mechanisms exist to report safety issues around the structural integrity of a building there is no coherent approach to reporting issues during the construction or occupation of buildings. Similarly, there is no specific protection given to anyone (such as a resident) who wishes to raise a formal concern. Confidential reporting was recognised in the report as a model for obtaining safety information. To quote: “There is a steady flow of incident reporting to CROSS from structural engineers, indicating its relevance, but it relies on a skilled professional to recognise the issue and report it.” For all buildings, other than HRRBs, continues the report, the current CROSS scheme should be extended and strengthened to cover all engineering safety concerns and should be subject to formal review and reporting at least annually. There are many other recommendations covering: • Key roles and responsibilities; • Digital records of all work; • Tougher enforcement and sanctions; • More effective leadership and competence for building safety and integrity; • Clearer and more effective specification and testing of products. Within these is scope for influence from Structural-Safety, including CROSS and SCOSS, on not just technical competence, but to help provide the leadership that is required within the construction industry and fire safety sector to drive the shift in culture. A SCOSS Alert summarising the Hackitt Report will be published shortly. Very importantly, and key to many of the changes, will be a continuation of the flow of reports to CROSS. The number that we get is significant, and their value is enormous. However, more are needed, especially now, so this is your opportunity to help make a difference to improve quality and safety. Concerns about any safety aspect of design, procurement, construction, inspection, regulation, maintenance and operation of buildings and structures should be reported. Reports are confidential, so your name and the details of any company, site, or product mentioned, will not be revealed. This is not whistle-blowing but the sharing of information for the benefit of the public and the construction community. Send a confidential report of any safety issue that you have come across to Submit Report (https://www.structural-safety.org/confidential-reporting/submit-report/). In this Newsletter are reports reflecting some of the issues highlighted in the Hackitt Report; responsibilities on site, design and construction concerns, and responsibilities for existing structures. Alastair Soane, Director of Structural-Safety

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Newsletter No 53 - January 2019

In December 2018 the Government issued a Building Safety Update on their ongoing actions following the Grenfell Tower fire. This includes an implementation plan to ensure people who live in residential high-rise buildings are safe and feel safe, now and in the future. Amongst the actions are: • A more effective regulatory and accountability framework: Addressing Dame Judith Hackitt’s finding that the regulatory framework around the construction, maintenance and ongoing use of multi-occupied, high-rise residential buildings was not fit for purpose, the implementation plan outlines how the Government intends to create a stronger and more effective regulatory framework. • Driving culture change and a more responsible industry: The implementation plan sets out measures to work with industry to drive culture change to increase responsibility for building safety, including by improving competence of those undertaking building work. • The Government will take action to support industry as it leads the way, championing the efforts of those who are doing the right thing and challenging those who have further to go. Structural-Safety welcomes this commitment to reinforce safety in High Rise Residential Buildings and is working with Government to help realise these goals. Ultimately, they should apply to all occupied buildings. In this Newsletter are examples from several sectors about how safety can be improved and, as ever, more contributions and examples will be welcome.

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CROSS-AUS Newsletter 3 - February 2020

Welcome to our 3rd Newsletter and an especial welcome to our growing list of subscribers. The NSW Government’s proposed Design and Building Practitioners Bill 2019 in response to the Shergold Weir Building Confidence Report is currently with the Legislative Assembly. To quote the NSW Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation, Kevin Anderson: It is the Government’s intention to create a robust registration scheme that delivers on the Shergold/Weir recommendations and applies to all types of practitioners who perform the function of preparing plans and making compliance declarations, including engineers. While the current focus and much of the discussion within EA is around registration, that is just a starting point and will not by itself ensure that the required standards of design and construction are being met. Being registered demonstrates that a certain level of competence and experience has been achieved. Mistakes will still be made and thus we must have rigorous processes of design and construction whereby each stage is independently checked and reviewed by competent engineers. The reports in this Newsletter cover a range of issues and you may have had similar experience with some of these such as cold-formed steel trusses (AUS-4), glazing systems (AUS-5) and carrying out modifications in old buildings (AUS-10). Problems related to maintenance of structures (or lack thereof) have been with us for a long time and AUS-12 poses the question – should a Maintenance Manual be included with the as-built documents for all structures? Issues around temporary works continue to give rise for concern; this time related to the erection of prefabricated concrete (AUS-11). A recent ENZ news item about a scaffold collapse in NZ should be read by all engineers involved with construction. It is very much about sharing lessons learned and concludes with the words: No one wants an accident on their watch, and it’s too late to do anything when it has happened. This has led to the formation of a Temporary Works Forum in NZ; there has been a very active Temporary Works Forum (TWf) in the UK for several years; there is one in HK; and one is being established in Australia. An even more serious collapse was that of the Pedestrian Bridge in Miami, Florida in 2018. The US National Transportation Safety Board has just released its final report which makes for sobering reading. CROSS will be making further comment on this in due course.

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