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CROSS Safety Report

Missing elements from 3D modelling

Report ID: 792 Published: 5 September 2022 Region: CROSS-UK


A reporter shares their experience on how their team consistently discover missing elements when they erect lattice towers and masts that have been 3D modelled.

Key Learning Outcomes

For steel fabricators and technicians:

  • A strict quality control system that includes the checking of fabrication drawings can avoid errors and near misses like this from occurring
  • Consider introducing a quality control system that ensures the checking of drawings has been conducted in 3D as well as 2D

Full Report

Find out more about the Full Report

The Full Report below has been submitted to CROSS and describes the reporter’s experience. The text has been edited for clarity and to ensure anonymity and confidentiality by removing any identifiable details. If you would like to know more about our secure reporting process or submit a report yourself, please visit the reporting to CROSS-UK page.


A reporter and colleagues consistently discover missing elements when they erect lattice towers and masts that have been 3D modelled. This is not restricted to entire members missing, but more often holes for fixings.

Upon investigation on a particular project, they investigated the issue with the CAD technician, fabricator, and galvaniser and carried out a complete BOM audit at every stage. All missing elements originated from the CAD stage. Design workflow processes and document control were found to be weak or non-existent.

This reinforces the findings of CROSS Report 614 (Columns missing due to 3D modelling) that distraction may be a key factor. Processes including workflow, document management and audit really need to be clearly defined and robustly implemented, with sufficient oversight from within design engineering teams at key stages in the process.

This report further highlights the importance of having robust quality management procedures in place to manage the risks associated with 3D modelling.

Expert Panel Comments

Find out more about the Expert Panels

Expert Panels comment on the reports we receive. They use their experience to help you understand what can be learned from the reports. If you would like to know more, please visit the CROSS-UK Expert Panels page.

For Expert Panel Comments refer to CROSS Report 614 and Report 645.

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