15 AUG 2019
The death of a young lady called Tahnie Martin, originally reported two and a half years ago when she was struck by a timber water tank cover blown off in high winds, has recently been covered again in UK media when the firm responsible for managing the property was fined £1.3m in court last month.
The tank enclosure which killed Ms Martin was later found to be poorly maintained – meaning that, tragically, the 29-year-old’s death could have been avoided. Shortly after the incident in 2017 the coroner reported to RICS on the facts of the case, addressing two specific areas of concern:
To address these points and ensure that RICS guidance goes as far as possible to direct surveyors in the way such risks should be communicated, a team of experts was commissioned to write a new edition, soon to be published by RICS as the Technical due diligence of commercial property fifth edition global guidance note. In order to help reduce the potential for a such tragedy in future, the points specific to the case have been addressed by:
It is vital that the death of Tahnie Martin reminds us of the importance of our work in ensuring a safe and secure built environment, and our duty as RICS members to act in the public interest.
There are important lessons to be learned here, and we urge you to support this initiative by thoroughly familiarising yourself with the new requirements when they are released and making fellow professionals aware of the revised guidance by all possible means.