Contractors urged to share lessons of failures
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Costain technical director Bill Hewlett has been appointed chairman of the Standing Committee on Structural Safety (SCOSS) and wants more contractors to report incidents so that other may learn from them.

SCOSS is an independent body supported by the Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE), the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) and the Health & Safety Executive. It exists to promote structural safety by sharing the lessons of failures and near-misses. The chairman is appointed at the invitation of the presidents of both ICE and IStructE.

Bill Hewlett is a former vice president of the ICE and joined the SCOSS committee in 2011.

As part of his role as chairman, he will be involved with the Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety (CROSS) scheme.

“SCOSS and CROSS offer a unique and invaluable service,” Mr Hewlett said. “It is important to see SCOSS and CROSS in the full breadth of structural engineering, from petro-chem, nuclear and infrastructure as well as buildings of every type.”

He hopes to expand the reach of the organisation so that more contractors report their incidents and near-misses.

“In particular I shall be seeking greater engagement with the contracting side of the industry, particularly SMEs. We are also looking at our global outreach,” he said.

“I would encourage everyone, across all our sectors, to participate in the scheme by signing up for our newsletters, and most importantly by reporting their own experiences of structural safety. Understanding hazards and risks is vital for structural safety, and this is a great way to learn. Reporting via CROSS is confidential and serves to bring about beneficial changes. Please visit theStructural-Safety website to find out more.”