Health and safety and the structural engineer
From time to time, members of the Institution have found it necessary to draw attention to shortcomings, as they saw them, in developments in the form of structures and their design, which might endanger public safety then or in the future. In 1964, several members, who dealt with building controls in a major urban and industrial area of England, drew attention to the problems they could foresee arising in the increasing use of precast concrete systems in the construction of multistorey buildings. Their concern had been triggered by a report on the collapse of a precast
building in Aldershot in 1963 and by their experience in checking design submissions.
The response by the Institution was to hold a major symposium ‘Industrialised building and the structural engineer’, in 1966, which presented a comprehensive review of design and construction in a number of materials, with some reference to research and development; it dealt particularly with the function of the structural engineer. The response to this initiative was not, however, sufficient to stimulate the reappraisal of developments then taking place which might possibly have avoided some of the structural failures of the following decade.