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What To Report

There are two types of report that are of interest:

1. General Reports

Those where there have been failures or collapses of structures or when concerns are felt about any part of the construction process or during the life of a structure.

The concerns or lessons may arise from any specific design or construction experiences, or from a series of experiences indicating a trend.

CROSS-US is also interested in reports relating to near misses or near hits, or observations relating to collapses where these have not been uncovered through formal investigation.

Small scale events are important as they can be the precursors to more major failures. No concern is too small to be reported and conversely nothing is too large.


2. Natural Damage Reports

Those where there has been damage caused to bridges, buildings, and building related infrastructure by weather or seismic events.

These can be sudden actions such as earthquakes, high winds, or lightning strikes, or longer term actions such as flooding, snow/sleet/hail/ice or high/low temperatures. The aim is to gather information that can be used to assess the capability of our structures to withstand seismic activity or the weather patterns that may be becoming more common.

It is recognized that climate change is having effects which may manifest themselves in weather events that result in damage. This study is not concerned with the reasons for climate change but only whether the consequences might lead to changes in standards, codes, and practices.

For natural damage reports, the name and address of the reporter will be confidential but the location of a damage site will be recorded for co-ordination with data for the area at the time damage was caused.


General Guidance

Reports can be of any length and should describe what has happened. A report starts with a title which should give an idea of what is to follow such as "Unsafe removal of some internal walls" or "Inadequate design of cantilever glass barriers". The description should include a location of the event, either an address or a place name. Then there should be some details of what happened, what was damaged, and the scale of the damage. Was there a complete collapse which will require re-building, or was the damage relatively minor? State what was damaged and give the cause. Information about the magnitude of an event will be helpful such as amount of rainfall, wind force, ground movement, or temperature.

We will classify the reports so that data can be assembled for analysis.

Reports should draw attention to:

  • Description of incident or near miss
  • Lessons learned (or identified) which will help others to contribute to a safer industry
  • Concerns which may require industry or regulatory action

Safety-related concerns may involve:

  • The reporter
  • Other people
  • Their organisation
  • Other organisations that they deal with

Reports should not be submitted on:

  • Criminal activities (which should be reported to the police or the relevant Workplace Health & Safety Authority)
  • Circumstances where there are on-going legal proceedings
  • Issues involving personality conflicts
  • Industrial relations and/or terms and conditions of employment problems
  • Occupational health or safety issues

Urgent safety concerns:

  • CROSS-US cannot provide advice on urgent matters which should be raised within the reporter's organisation


What to Report

Appointment of consultants or contractors:

  • Inappropriate appointment e.g. not enough experience or relevant experience
  • Inadequate brief
  • Insufficient fees or resources to do the job properly
  • Complexity of project not sufficiently appreciated

Design process:

  • Investigations not thorough enough
  • Analysis or design not sufficiently rigorous
  • Inappropriate use of software or modelling
  • Computer results that are ambiguous or unusual
  • Use of unproven materials or techniques
  • Conflicts with regulations or codes of practice
  • Inadequate checking, reviewing, or QA
  • Design responsibilities passed on

Construction process:

  • Inadequate or insufficient drawings
  • Inadequate training and experience levels of staff
  • Lack of involvement and authority for resident engineers
  • Divided responsibilities leading to confusion
  • Unsafe temporary works and falsework
  • Poor workmanship
  • Unsuitable materials
  • Not using products in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions
  • Supervision levels inadequate
  • Dangerous construction conditions
  • Near misses and near hits

Operation and maintenance:

  • No information available on design or construction
  • Refurbishments and alterations made without proper consideration
  • Frequency and scope of inspections
  • Insufficient budget to address structural concerns
  • Unusual dynamic behaviour
  • Premature deterioration or undue corrosion
  • Indications of instability
  • Unexpected deflections or deformations
  • Anchor, fixing or component failures
  • Components that cannot be inspected
  • Near misses and near hits


Weather events:

  • High winds
  • Extreme rainfall
  • Flooding (including tidal and surge effects)
  • Freezing temperatures
  • Ground movement (earthquakes, sink holes, subsidence etc)
  • High temperatures
  • Moisture (rising damp, condensation, etc)
  • Snow/sleet/hail/ice
  • Other

Parts of building that might be damaged:

  • Brickwork/blockwork/stonework
  • Drains
  • Fixings
  • Fixtures/fittings
  • Foundations
  • Ground floor
  • Gutters/downpipes
  • Not known
  • Other
  • Roof
  • Stairs
  • Structural frame
  • Upper floors
  • Wall cladding
  • Walls
  • Windows



When to Report

Reports do not have to be about current activities so long as they are relevant. CROSS-US needs information all the time and whenever an incident occurs, or a concern is felt, then it can be reported. CROSS-US is not a substitute for internal reporting processes but is in addition and is the only independent organization for collecting and publishing safety related reports.



Reports can be sent by mail or online and are opened in confidence. The description within the report is copied but without the reporter's name, and information that might be used to identify the name of an employer, the location of a project (except for weather damage reports), or the names of any individuals or products mentioned by the reporter is removed to create a de-identified report. These are also known as anonymized reports. The Designated Persons may email or telephone the reporter (at the reporter's contact number) to ask for more data on technical aspects. Only de-identified reports are used for the CROSS-US Newsletters and database of reports.



De-identified reports are categorized and kept on a database for review by a CROSS-US Panel of experts to detect trends, and to provide commentary for the CROSS-US Newsletters. CROSS-US Newsletters are published quarterly and links are sent to subscribers on the date that each one is released. To become a subscriber go to the subscribe section. The information in the Newsletters can be used by individuals, firms and organizations, to avoid future problems of the same kind and improve the quality of their engineering.

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How to Report

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