Two thirds of information professionals in the construction industry have seen builders’ lives put at risk by information mismanagement, according to a survey by the Institute of Document Control

The survey of IDC’s 200 members reported a string of dangerous errors, including two deaths attributable to information mismanagement.

Mistakes included a UK-designed petrochemical facility built overseas to drawings that were unsafe and had been rejected, and a structure built to two different concrete standards, resulting in a collapse on a live site.

The IDC said it could not give details of cases that would allow its members to be identified.

Of the respondents, 22% said companies had not addressed the serious failings highlighted.

John Barton, interim president of the IDC, said the importance of professional information management was often overlooked.

He said: “It should be a no-brainer that you work to the latest revisions of drawings, but that doesn’t always happen. There is a lack of awareness of how critical document control is to safety.”

Rudi Klein, chief executive of the Specialists Engineering Contractors’ Group, said: “Firms dump information on CD-Roms, part of a culture of dumping risk on suppliers. If you don’t take control of decisions you increase safety risk.”