Last edited 31 Jan 2021

In Plain Sight: Assuring the whole-life safety of infrastructure


In October 2018, the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) published a new report suggesting that structural failures could be averted by doing more to help engineers raise safety concerns.

In Plain Sight: Assuring the whole-life safety of infrastructure, was commissioned following the Grenfell Tower fire, with Professor Peter Hansford chairing a panel that published an interim reportIn Plain Sight: Reducing the risk of infrastructure failure’ in November 2017.

The report recommends that a new organisation should be created allowing engineers to raise and share safety concerns, and that ICE should play a greater role in empowering engineers to come forward with information relating to near misses and catastrophic incidents. The new body’s remit should allow for design, construction and long-life use concerns to be raised, as well as facilitating information sharing across the wider industry and whistle blowing.

In addition, the report recommends:

The report will be presented at the ICE Council meeting in December 2018 when a decision to endorse the recommendations will be made.

Peter Hansford said; “As professional engineers, we already know many of the factors that can contribute to the risk of infrastructure failure and we must remain diligent and critical to ensure they don’t stay hidden. This report is about empowering us to have a voice throughout the whole life of the infrastructure we design, construct and operate. I look forward to seeing the whole construction sector take forward these recommendations, working with industry and members to strengthen lines of defence, improve accountability across the sector and mitigate the risk of infrastructure failure to enhance public safety.”

ICE vice president Kyle Clough said; “It is essential that professional engineers feel able to speak up about any concerns they might have, and are provided a clear, confidential way of doing so. Further, it is only by sharing the knowledge about these concerns, accidents or near-misses that the industry can learn and take the necessary steps to stop them happening again.”

You can download the report here.

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

Designing Buildings Anywhere

Get the Firefox add-on to access 20,000 definitions direct from any website

Find out more Accept cookies and
don't show me this again