Again, I can't speak for Ireland, but to suggest that UK engineering is not regulated where it affects safety would be slightly bizarre. From domestic wiring to safety-critical industries such as my own of railway signalling there are huge swathes of regulations and processes to protect the public.
But many engineering roles are not safety critical, and to say that all engineering work must be carried out under all the same processes would simply not make sense. What we have could no doubt be improved, and should always be re-examined, but there is no great evidence that I know of that UK engineers are currently putting people at unacceptable risk, and there is a balance with ensuring that technological development is not hindered by unnecessary regulation. Again, I would use the rail industry as an example here: it was strongly suggested a few years ago that passengers were actually being put at greater risk because the then current approval regimes for new products were so slow and tortuous that our technology lagged behind world class levels. Personally I am far more worried about lack of innovation in the UK rather than lack of regulation.
Coming back to John Power's article: and the key paragraph "It would be wrong to wait until there is some awful incident, be it in the construction sector, at a power station or in a chemical plant, for this anomaly to be rectified." Well it has happened, a number of times, and much modern legislation and many standards can be traced back to such accidents - IEC 61508 would apply in Ireland as much as in the UK. But I don't know if Ireland has an equivalent to HASAWA?
Andy Millar CEng MIET CMgr MCMIhttp://www.linkedin.com/in/millarandy
"The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress." Joseph Joubert
20 May 2010 at
11:14 PM by