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Institution of Civil Engineers ICE publish new review for Health and Safety

A review aimed to help designers in the construction industry better understand the legal requirement to exercise a duty ‘so far as is reasonable practical’ with regards to Health and Safety and Work, has been published by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE).

For the last 35 years, under the requirements of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1974, those in control of the premises or work activity have been obliged by law to reduce risk ‘so far as is reasonable practical’ or ‘SFARP’. The concept of SFARP is less prescriptive than previous approaches to health and safety risk management, has been approved by the European Court and case law has assisted with its interpretation. However there is still concern over its definition and how a duty holder knows when the requirement has been satisfied.

The ICE review and commentary of SFARP aims to generate discussion between construction industry organisations and the Health and Safety Executive about how SFARP is interpreted and ultimately bring more clarity to its practical application. It summarises SFARP specifically from a designer’s perspective and highlights aspects which remain uncertain within the design environment.

John Carpenter, convener of the drafting panel and member of the ICE Health and Safety Panel, said: “This is an appropriate time to bring some clarity to a difficult area of legal requirement. Such clarity will not only create greater certainty, but will also improve the business process. The ICE looks forward to discussion and debate on this topic."

To download the review go to: http://www.ice.org.uk/knowledge/specialist_community_health_downloads.asp

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