I am pleased to announce that the Structural Engineering Institute (SEI) of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) recently launched a new confidential reporting system designed to capture and share lessons learned from structural safety issues. For the past two years, I have had the privilege to work with a team in SEI to establish Confidential Reporting of Structural Safety in the U.S. (CROSS-US). We made a “soft launch” of CROSS-US at Structures Congress this past April, and our website went live on 1 July.
In the CROSS system, individuals may confidentially report cases of structural failure, incidents, near misses, and other concerns. These reports are first processed by one of two designated persons to remove any identifying information. Then, the reports are circulated to a distinguished expert panel for review, commentary, and lessons learned documentation. The processed report with expert input is then posted to the CROSS website where the information is open to all, free of charge. The model is based on the United Kingdom’s CROSS-UK system, which has operated successfully since 1995. CROSS-UK has been highly effective in improving practices in the UK. Since learning across national boundaries is vital, we seek to create a global network of these CROSS entities.
As professional engineers, we have a profound duty to ensure the safety of all those who use the structures we design and build. Sharing feedback on near misses or concerns is not always easy, and CROSS is a successful community platform to allow professionals to do this simply, without attributing blame.
I would like to thank all my fellow SEI members who rose to the challenge of formally establishing CROSS-US. The CROSS system could be a game-changer for our profession. I’m happy to talk with any of you who have interest or questions.