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Page 18 Contractors World - UK & Ireland Vol 1 No 5

Planning and design can help to combat crime and disorder in public

CIRIA has announce the launch of i ts new guidance, ‘Addressing crime and disorder in publ ic places through planning and design (C710)’.

Crime, including terrorism, and disorder are high on the public agenda, with such issues causing great amounts of damage and distress when they occur. Although crime cannot be completely prevented, it can be ‘designed out’ to reduce the risk of its occurrence.

Often the consideration of how to deal with such issues are only thought of after construction is complete, however, if issues are considered earlier in the design stage they can be incorporated into the design to avoid costly and disruptve changes being introduced later. CIRIA’s new guide ‘Addressing crime and disorder in public places through planning and design (C710)’ considers the fact that different elements and factors must be considered during design to ensure a safe, secure and pleasant environment is created.

Michael Woods, Head of Operations and Management Research at RSSB, says that “designing our living and working spaces to make crimes more difficult to commit is a huge challenge. Some quite simple (and ofen obvious) actions early on in a development can make a big difference. This can apply to any part of the ‘public realm’ – shopping centres, railway stations, hospital complexes – and to places where people live and work. This guide will help designers and users to focus on useful solutons and avoid some of the mistakes of the past.” The guide discusses the concept that simple measures, including good l ight ing, can be introduced into the design to discourage crime, such as thef, vandalism or ant-social behaviour and encourages designers to consider their designs within the environment for which they are intended.

The guide is primarily aimed at planners, architects and other designers responsible for planning and designing the external built environment.

Source: CIRIA

Call for Health and Safety Simplification

Leading bodies the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) have called for simplification of health and safety regulation to help improve productvity in the constructon industry, which accounts for around 6% of Britain’s economic output. In a joint consultaton response to the call for evidence from Professor Lofstedt ’s review of health and safety legislation, the bodies say that while they see no need for the abolishment of any legislation, some regulations could be merged or simplified to reduce unnecessary bureaucracy and burdens on the constructon industry. A key concern is the misinterpretaton of the Approved Codes of Practce (ACoPs) - which provides more detail on the regulatons. CIC and ICE say that uncertainty of how to apply the regulations has led to over-implementation of safety procedures within the industry, especially among smaller businesses that make up a signifcant proporton of the industry and for whom the extra administraton is an unwelcome burden.

Chair of the ICE health and safety expert panel and joint ICE / CIC working panel Mike Battman said: “The constructon industry has one of the highest accident and fatality rates in the UK; however the current guidance does not suff icient ly take into account i ts unique requirements. We strongly believe that a simplifed, more tailored approach – with clarification around specific requirements for our industry – would help this crucial industry be more productive, and ultimately be of more value to our long-term economic growth.”

The group also calls for clarity around the principle of what is ‘reasonably practcable’ which was introduced to guide duty holders as to what level of risk assessment and prevention they must implement. However gross uncertainty of how this principle applies, especially to constructon designers, is undermining the efciency and productvity of the industry.

Peter Caplehorn, Chairman of the CIC Health and Safety Committee and working panel member said: “In a time when industry should be looking for efficiency and added value this uncertainty is an unacceptable and wasteful use of resource, hampering progress on vital infrastructure projects.

The legislation urgently needs to be re-assessed to enable industry to execute its legal responsibilities effectively, better preventing accidents and ill-health but also freeing up significant resource and time which can then be focused on improving project outcomes and driving down costs.” [CW]

Construction News - Industry Briefing

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