The confidential reporting system for the building industry now includes fire safety and has relaunched as CROSS, Collaborative Reporting for Safer Structures UK.

CROSS-UK welcomes reports about fire safety and structural safety issues related to buildings and other structures in the built environment. Reports include information that will help others to learn from safety issues and typically look at concerns, near misses or incidents.

Established originally in 1976 by the Institution of Structural Engineers, the Standing Committee on Structural Safety’s main function was to identify in advance, trends and developments that might contribute to an increased risk to structural safety.

The move to this new organisation is a response to the findings of Dame Judith Hackitt’s Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety published in May 2018.

Neil Gibbins of the Institute of Fire Engineers

Neil Gibbins from the Institution of Fire Engineers has been involved with the evolution of CROSS to include fire safety. He said: “The fire safety sector has nothing similar to CROSS. The UK approach to fire safety over the last forty years has changed quite dramatically. It has gone from being almost totally owned and managed in a prescriptive manner by the fire brigades to a much more diverse, goal based, self-compliant and complex process.”

He continued: “The expansion of CROSS is a key step that will support fire sector learning, providing a route for professionals to safely share lessons that need to be learned and to provide some oversight of the health of the fire safety system.”

The provision of a confidential reporting system that includes fire safety is a major step forward and Neil Gibbins said that the IFE welcomed the chance to be involved. Commenting on the creation of expert panels to comment on the reports received by CROSS, Neil explained: “The formation of a CROSS-UK Fire Safety Expert Panel and regular planned events that bring them together with the CROSS-UK Structural Safety Expert Panel provides the opportunity to feed informed opinion into the building safety system.”

CROSS is seeking new ways to collaborate and welcomes approaches from those who would like to be involved.

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