Independent review aims to take lessons from Grenfell Tower fire

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An independent review has been launched to identify and address lessons for UK infrastructure as a result of the Grenfell Tower fire.

Former government chief construction advisor Prof Peter Hansford has been asked to lead the review for the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

According to ICE, the review will not duplicate the government enquiry into the specific failings at Grenfell, nor will it address matters that are subject to a criminal investigation.

ICE president Prof Tim Broyd said: “ICE’s aim with this review is to establish what needs to be done to mitigate the risk of a similar tragedy resulting from the failure of infrastructure assets or networks.

“As the world’s premier civil engineering organisation it is right that we assess whether change is needed to how we procure, design, construct and maintain the UK’s infrastructure.”

Prof Hansford’s review will be complete by the end of October 2017.

“The Grenfell Tower tragedy has quite rightly led to a period of deep reflection amongst civil engineers about what the failings at Grenfell highlight for practices across the construction sector,” said Prof Hansford. “Inevitably the Judicial Inquiry and any criminal investigation may take time to complete.  It is important however that the profession moves quickly to capture and implement lessons as quickly as possible.”

Issues to be covered by the review include:

  • Competency and capability within owners, clients and all tiers of the supply chain, including capabilities to understand and manage whole systems
  • Responsibility and accountability for safety at all stages of the assets’ life-cycle
  • Inspection and quality assurance regimes during and following construction, operational management and in-service modification, refurbishment and re-fit
  • Creation, maintenance and implementation of regulation, guidance and codes & standards
  • Assessment and management of system related risks
  • The effectiveness of industry efforts to understand and apply lessons from recent catastrophic failures
  • The impact of procurement practice, commercial arrangements and changes to professional roles and culture on all of the above.