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Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures

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CROSS is operated jointly by the Institutions of Structural and Civil Engineers and with the launch of the new website, has expanded its remit to include reporting on fire safety.

Since 2005, CROSS has operated a voluntary confidential safety reporting system to capture and share lessons learned from structural safety issues which might not otherwise get public recognition. The audience is those involved in the design, construction and management of structures. The aim is to identify pre-cursors which could result in structural failure in similar circumstances if not addressed.

CROSS also publish safety alerts to raise awareness of safety risks identified and to disseminate lessons learned from structural safety concerns and incidents. These safety alerts can be related to CROSS safety reports, or they can be related to safety issues which are already in the public domain.

The CROSS website first went live in 2008, followed by an updated version in 2013. Following the Grenfell Tower tragedy in 2017, Dame Judith Hackitt undertook an Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety. The final report recommended that CROSS “should be extended and strengthened to cover all engineering safety concerns”.

The redevelopment of the website has included two important components:

  1. The public facing website
  2. The Safety Report Management System (SRMS)

Whilst the legacy CROSS website accepted reports on structural safety issues, the aim of the new extended and strengthened website was to also accept reports on fire safety issues.

The discovery and alpha (design) phase of the project was undertaken by Mace & Menter in collaboration with CROSS.

Speaking ahead of the launch, Dame Judith Hackitt said:

This is a really important step in changing the culture around buildings and structures to one of openness and transparency. Other industry sectors like airlines have shown how valuable this type of no-blame reporting of concerns can be in identifying potential causes of failure before they happen and ensuring that they are shared with the whole sector.

Building Safety Minister, Lord Greenhalgh, said:

The expansion and strengthening of CROSS is a major step towards implementation of the new building safety regime, providing those in industry with the tools and information needed to effectively share valuable lessons learned and promote best practices.

Complementing other reporting systems, the relaunch of CROSS will play a key role in fostering a more open culture towards reporting and safety across all buildings.

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