The Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers recently announced the launch of a U.S. version of the U.K.’s Confidential Reporting on Structural Safety program. SEI volunteers for CROSS-US, which allows anonymous and confidential reporting of construction failures, mishaps, hazards and near misses, are reviewing the first submission, received July 11.
“If we see trends or issues we think need attention, we expect to spread the word and alert the appropriate authorities,” says Glenn R. Bell, a senior principal of engineer Simpson Gumpertz & Heger and the driver behind CROSS-US.
Bell, president-elect of SEI, started seeking a home for CROSS-US in 2017. SEI provided $10,000 to develop the website. CROSS-US, which covers all structures, is run by a volunteer executive committee, led by Bell. A panel, including engineers, lawyers, a code official and other industry experts, reviews submissions after they are stripped of identifying factors and produces commentaries.
CROSS started in the U.K. in 2005. The program, modeled on the U.S. Aviation Safety Reporting System designed by NASA, has spread to Southern Africa and Australasia and will soon be in Germany.
CROSS’s database is public and free to use. There are newsletters and online discussions about safety and other hazards.
To date, there are 859 published reports split equally among design, construction and life events. “We are completely confidential and independent,” says Alastair Soane, CROSS-UK’s director. “This is critical.”