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Engineering Council launches guidance on risk for the engineering profession

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On the 31st March 2011, at a special event at University College London, the Engineering Councillaunched an important new guidance document for the engineering profession. 'Guidance on Risk for the Engineering Profession' provides generic advice and is relevant to the challenges faced by all those in the profession. It establishes six principles to help engineers and technicians meet their professional obligations, and to ensure that the identification and management of risk is an important consideration in their everyday engineering activity.

The new document is similar in format to the sustainability guidance, published by the Engineering Council in May 2009, which has been well received by the profession and is commonly referred to by academics and practitioners alike.

Professor Kel Fidler, Chairman of the Engineering Council, said: "Risk is inherent in the activities undertaken by professional engineers. Members of the profession therefore have a significant role to play in managing and limiting risk."

The guidance has been developed by a working group chaired by Professor David Bogle FREng CEng, comprising members of ten professional engineering institutions with additional input from a number of other organisations including the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) and members of the Hazards Forum.

"The working group included considerable expertise across a range of engineering disciplines," Professor Bogle commented. "This, and the wide interest from members of the engineering profession, has helped to ensure a sense of ownership amongst the profession, and it made sure we produced something that will have wide relevance. It also acts to demonstrate to society the engineering profession's commitment to managing risk effectively."

Judith Hackitt CBE, Chair of the HSE, said: "Understanding and managing risk is an essential and integral part of every engineers' role. From design through construction operation and ultimate demolition, when superseded by new technologies, the changing risk profile needs to be identified and the most important risks addressed as far as they can be even though they may not be eliminated. I very much welcome the publication of this risk management guidance and the Engineering Council's decision to embark on such a project. It is a timely reminder of the important principles for experienced engineers and an invaluable tool for new engineers of all disciplines."

The new guidance replaces the Code of Professional Practice on Engineers and Risk Issues produced nearly twenty years ago by the Engineering Council.

Further details and a copy of the guidance document can be downloaded from: . A handy wallet card listing the six risk principles on one side with those for sustainability on the other, is available from:


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