Author: The Institution of Structural Engineers' Health and Safety Panel
1 May 2013
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The Institution of Structural Engineers' Health and Safety Panel
Could the 30 year failure cycle evident in speciﬁc bridge failures be coincidence or something more? Sean Brady looks at the technical and human aspects of this unfortunate trend.
Recent events This article draws attention to such topical events as the publication of the Lofstedt report, the Health and Safety Executive's interpretation of "appropriate action" and firms prosectuted over the mis-handling of asbestos.
Working on fragile roofs is hazardous. The Health and Safety Executive (HSE) reports that falls through roofs and roof lights account for about 20% of all fatal accidents within the category of “falls from height”. These result in about seven deaths a year, with many other serious injuries. Most of these instances occur during roof maintenance. The hazard and risks are foreseeable – and in severe incidents, where employees have not been properly protected, corporate manslaughter charges have been brought. All parties to the project, such as designers, contractors and the owners themselves, have a duty to be aware of the risks and cooperate in preventing accidents. Owners need to be familiar with the condition of their property and ensure that competent contractors are employed for any work required.