Safety of society

Structural engineers are of critical importance in managing the risk to society throughout the lifecycle of the structure.

Structural engineers consider the safety of structures from design and construction through to operation and demolition, in accordance with local legislation. 

Structural engineers are key to ensuring that the built environment is robust and that lessons are learnt. This topic impacts upon the collaborative nature of construction and the need to ensure responsibilities are clearly defined at the outset of projects.

Effective retention and communication of project information, including maintenance and refurbishment, is paramount in ensuring the safety of society.

Latest news from Structural-Safety


Tall london apartment block with balconies

Effects of Scale: Read the SCOSS alert

Anecdotal evidence suggests that many designers are unfamiliar with scale effects, increasing the risk that safety and commercial aspects may be overlooked.

Collapsed car park
Read the latest CROSS newsletter

Includes details of RAAC plank and post-tensioned slab failures, structural issues with cladding, missing punching shear reinforcement and dangerous substitution of lintels on domestic projects.

Featured events and resources

The Structural Engineer
<h4>Viewpoint: Mental health in construction: who's looking out for management?</h4>

Viewpoint: Mental health in construction: who's looking out for management?

Andy Leask sees a role for the professional institutions in creating an environment where all people – from junior staff to directors – feel comfortable discussing mental health issues with their peers.

Date ‐ 4 May 2021
Author ‐ Andy Leask
Price ‐ £9
Blue abstract blocks

Structural health monitoring

Extending the safe service life of structures using sensors and the structural information from this data.

Date ‐ 23 June 2021
Author ‐ Su Taylor and Jonathan Backus
Price ‐ From £45.50 + VAT
Blue abstract blocks

Learning from history: why the box-girder bridge failures matter today

Ian Firth FIStructE explains why engineers can still learn from two bridge collapses that happened 50 years ago. Ian is an acclaimed bridge engineer and former President of the IStructE.


The Structural Engineer
<h4>Managing Health and Safety Risks (No. 34): Working safely near water</h4>

Managing Health and Safety Risks (No. 34): Working safely near water

Dangers of working in close proximity to water are ever present. Many engineering projects are constructed close to or directly over water, while others may involve the creation of containers for water. To ensure public safety, taking the precautions outlined in this article is of paramount importance.

Date ‐ 27 November 2014
Author ‐ The Institution of Structural Engineers' Health and Safety Panel
Price ‐ £9
IStructE pattern 2A

Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety: Five things to know about CROSS

Paul McNulty, Senior Engineer at Structural-Safety, explains the safety mission behind CROSS and why IStructE members should make reports.​

Date ‐ 15 June 2018
Author ‐ Paul McNulty
Price ‐ 0
The Structural Engineer
<h4>Fire engineering and structural design – common misconceptions and good practice</h4>

Fire engineering and structural design – common misconceptions and good practice

A paper written as a collaboration between AECOM fire engineers and structural engineers in an effort to elevate the subject and improve our mutual understanding of structural performance in fire. Intended as a high-level introduction for practising structural engineers.

Date ‐ 2 January 2018
Author ‐ H. Warren, O. Quinn, E. Byrne and J. Leach (all AECOM)
Price ‐ £9
The Structural Engineer
<h4>Learning the lessons of collapse</h4>

Learning the lessons of collapse

Director of Structural-Safety, Alastair Soane, explains why it's important to understand the reasons behind structural failures.

Date ‐ 27 November 2014
Author ‐ A. Soane (Structural-Safety)
Price ‐ £9

Related resources and events

<h4>EEFIT reconnaissance mission training</h4>

EEFIT reconnaissance mission training

Training from EEFIT, LfE-UK and IStructE to assist in becoming a future team leader of earthquake reconnaissance missions.

Date ‐ 16 November 2021
<h4>Averting disaster: how to save a collapsing building</h4>

Averting disaster: how to save a collapsing building

A presentation on a case study of how a partial collapse of a bulding was saved from becoming a disaster.#

Date ‐ 9 November 2021
Location ‐ Best Western Premier EMA Yew Lodge Hotel & Conference Centre, Packington Hill, Kegworth, Derbyshire, DE74 2DF
Price ‐ Free
<h4>Safety matters – CROSS update</h4>

Safety matters – CROSS update

An online technical meeting on safety matters - CROSS update.

Date ‐ 26 October 2021
Price ‐ Free
<h4>Fire literacy in structural engineering</h4>

Fire literacy in structural engineering

The IStructE Queensland Committee invites you to join us as we hear Cristian Maluk give a presentation on fire literacy in structural engineering.

Date ‐ 13 October 2021
Price ‐ Free
modern roof

Healthy building design – what can structural engineers do?

What does it mean to design a building or structure with health and wellbeing in mind?

Date ‐ 12 October 2021
Location ‐ Online
<h4>Tsunami and structure damage following earthquakes</h4>

Tsunami and structure damage following earthquakes

Observations and implications of tsunami impacts on structures in the coastal zone

Date ‐ 11 October 2021
<h4>Building damage assessment and Geotechnical problems after earthquakes</h4>

Building damage assessment and Geotechnical problems after earthquakes

Evaluating the resilience of the built environment to earthquakes and secondary effects

Date ‐ 4 October 2021
The Structural Engineer
<h4>Strengthening of existing buildings: an introduction</h4>

Strengthening of existing buildings: an introduction

This article discusses how strengthening an existing building can enable changes of use, achieve compliance with modern building codes, resist a previously unforeseen environmental load or increase resilience. It gives a broad description of some common strengthening options, as well as guidance on where to find more information.

Date ‐ 2 September 2021
Author ‐ Lizzie Blaisdell Collins and Joe White
Price ‐ £9
The Structural Engineer
New logo for Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures

Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures: CROSS-UK Newsletter 61

This month we highlight a report raising concerns about the fire safety of multistorey buildings comprising cross-laminated timber structures and the risk of collapse in the event of an uncontrolled fire.

Date ‐ 4 May 2021
Author ‐ Structural-Safety
Price ‐ £0
A grey and white drawing of a city.

CROSS expands its remit to include reporting on fire safety

Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures (CROSS) is operated jointly by the Institutions of Structural and Civil Engineers. Its expansion marks one of the first implementations of a recommendation of the Hackitt Review.

Date ‐ 31 March 2021
The Structural Engineer
Burning building

Structural fire safety when responding to the climate emergency

Luke Bisby urges structural engineers to improve their understanding of ‘fire resistance’ as the profession looks to innovate rapidly in response to climate change.

Date ‐ 1 February 2021
Author ‐ Luke Bisby
Price ‐ £0
Blue abstract blocks

Temporary demountable structures - Winter 2020/21 considerations

The Advisory Group on Temporary Structures (AGOTS) has put together brief guidance for landlords, local authorities and event organisers.

Date ‐ 11 January 2021
Author ‐ Paul Blakeman
Price ‐ Free
The Structural Engineer
Collapsed level of multistorey car park

Structural safety when designing lean in the climate emergency

The IStructE Safety, Health and Wellbeing Panel considers the safety implications when aspiring to a lean design.

Date ‐ 4 January 2021
Author ‐ IStructE Safety, Health and Wellbeing Panel
Price ‐ £0
The Structural Engineer
Grenfell Tower

What can we expect from the UK's Building Safety Bill?

Alastair Soane of Structural-Safety sets out the key changes for structural engineers proposed in the UK government’s draft Building Safety Bill.

Date ‐ 2 September 2020
Author ‐ Alastair Soane
Price ‐ £9
Blue abstract blocks

COVID-19: Risks on plant start up and recommendations on hygiene control for on-site staff

This guidance provides advice on the safe reopening of plants and sites during the coronavirus pandemic.

Date ‐ 30 July 2020
Price ‐ Free