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Architects should design for safety

Sir, Tony Wilson calls for a radical and innovative solution to the safety issue (Construction News, May 13) - one is not far away.

The Construction Design and Management regulations intended to bring down accident rates are not working.

Designers are going through the motions of risk assessment and identifying risk but they are not looking at alternative designs in order to eliminate them. If they were, then pitched tiled roofs would have been eliminated in 1994.

The pitched roof, with external gutters, is high-risk during and after construction.

It is difficult enough to make the roof secure while tiling progresses but no thought has been given as to how the householder can get up to clean gutters or replace a broken tile, or how riggers install TV aerials.

Hence the 14,000 hospital visits per year by people falling from ladders.

Changing design to a low slope roof with an external parapet and internal access could eliminate this.The roof can then be planted up with all the benefits a green roof can bring to our landscape.

Tougher policing is required to ensure that designers consider low-risk solutions.

John E Medlock Managing director Axter Ltd Ipswich