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Construction firms warned over dire millennium bug risks

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More than a third of construction firms face a millennium bug blitzkrieg because they are not taking steps to safeguard their it.

A survey by Government Y2K watchdog Action 2000 reveals 35 per cent of small to medium-sized firms face problems. The 65 per cent who are geared up for the millennium switch are 7 per cent up on two months ago.

Christopher Vickers, chairman of the Construction Industry Board (cib), said: 'Problems could result in potentially major disruption within construction supply chains and on sites. The majority of other business and industry sectors remain well ahead of construction in preparations. Many senior managers are still underestimating the impact the bug may have. They have two months left.'

Janine Michael, cib operations manager, said computers, telephones, cctv, air-conditioning, fire and security alarms could trip or fail. Many insurers would not cover firms that failed to take precautions, she warned.

'Architects must audit all their gear such as accounts, it, cad and project- management software, and run risk assessments. They must also think about the buildings they are working on because tower cranes, lifts and tunnelling equipment can go wrong and there are huge health and safety issues. Even if your fire alarm has a 1-in-1000 chance of failure, it could be you who loses out. We are still lagging behind most other industries.'

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