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Newsletter 56 - October 2019

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Report Overview

Another milestone has been reached with the establishment of CROSS-US in America. As their website says "CROSS-US is a confidential system that captures and shares lessons learned from structural safety issues which might not otherwise be available to the public. Anyone is invited to confidentially submit reports of structural failures, near misses, concerns, and incidents for anonymous development of analysis commentary by subject matter experts, and to use the valuable information posted." It is sponsored by SEI (Structural Engineering Institute), a division of ASCE (American Association of Civil Engineers) which has 150,000 members in 177 countries. Glenn R. Bell, F.SEI, F.ASCE, FIStructE, Director of CROSS-US says "learning from the performance of our built environment should be part of every Structural Engineer’s education and be embedded in industry practice." He and co-director Andy Herrmann have assembled a formidable panel of experts to provide advice on reports and are embarking on a series of promotional activities to make structural engineers and others in North America aware of the scheme. They join CROSS-UK, CROSS-AUS (Australasia) and CROSS-SA (Southern Africa) as part of an expanding international network to share safety information for the benefit of the construction industries worldwide and the public. At the recent IABSE (International Association of Bridge and Structural Engineers) in New York, CROSS-US engaged with, and gained support from, the Forensic Engineering Group whose members represent many countries. This is also the first anniversary of the launch of CROSS-AUS at ASCE 2018 by last year’s President of IStructE Faith Wainwright. It has grown in stature, it too has established a formidable panel of experts, made many contacts within the industry, and published Newsletters. There have been several major issues with building safety in Australia during the year, so the initiatives from Director Mike Fordyce and his colleagues are timely and are helping to influence change. CROSS relies upon receiving reports to enable it to function - and there is always a need for more. Names and identifying details are never revealed or published, nobody is ever blamed, and all reports with associated expert comments on the database are available at no cost. If you have experienced a safety related concern or event relating to design, construction, operation, or indeed during demolition of a structure, then please submit a report so that others can learn.

Overview of Reports in this Newsletter

858 Repeating the same mistakes

A correspondent who investigates engineering failures has submitted a CROSS report to share common errors which engineers keep repeating.

852 Rotting of cross-laminated timber (CLT) roof panels

The reporter was asked to check the roof of a building which had been leaking for a few years but was still occupied.

857 Fire resistance of multi-storey car parks

The reporter visited a recently constructed car park which contained some of the design issues discussed in the February 2018 SCOSS Alert on Fire in Multi-Storey Car Parks.

680 Late detection of flange/web splitting on steel beam

A reporter noticed a crack at the interface between the flange and web for a chord member in a steel truss.

849 Safe use of lifting magnets

A two-tonne lift using magnetic lifting equipment was abandoned, averting a potential high consequence event, says a reporter.

675 Collapse of unsupported trench

A worker was trapped within a partially collapsed excavation which was unsupported and not suitably benched.

730 Collapsed scaffolding

Following modest levels of snow fall in the winter, scaffolding erected in order to support a temporary roof collapsed inwards, says a reporter.

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