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Re: Contractor hired Deputy Inspectors

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At 11:48 AM 12/11/97 -0800, you wrote:
>1994 UBC Section 1701.1 says that special inspectors shall be employed by
>the owner or by the architect or engineer of record acting as the owner's
>agent.  Section 106.3.5 is similar, but goes further, specifically
>indicating the the inspector shall not be employed by the contractor or any
>other person responsible for the work. 

THIS SECTION ALSO REQUIRES THE ENGINEER OF RECORD TO INCLUDE ON THE PLANS,
BEFORE THE PERMIT IS ISSUED, THE NAME OF THE SPECIAL INSPECTOR OR FIRMS
THAT WILL BE PROVIDING THE SPECIAL INSPECTION. This is similar to the
specification of a Hilti or Simpson or Covert product on the plans.  The
Engineer is comfortable with the proven results provided with the use of
one of these products and hence specifies its use. When the Inspection
entity or individual is specified by the Engineer, you can be most sure of
the Engineer's best interests and plan compliance. I have been fighting the
Employment Issue for many years and this is the best of many approaches
toward conformity.  
On another hand however, Insurance carriers have had a problem with the
specification of an individual for the liability connection, but to specify
an accredited firm and also offer the alternative of another accredited
firm significantly decreases the liability exposure to the Engineer.  The
specification would be worded: "The ABC Inspection Agency or another
Inspection Agency accredited to ASTM E329-95C, The Standard Specification
for Agencies Engaged in the Testing and/or Inspection of Materials Used in
Construction approved by the Engineer of Record.  
The specification of a firm has, until just recently, created a connundrum
since there were no accredited Inspection Agencies and, in fact, there
weren't even the criteria for Inspection Firms.  The Test Labs are only
accredited as Test Labs, but their Inspection capacities haven't been
addressed in an accreditation process.  
In the State of Washington, there are several dozen Test Labs who have made
the effort to become accredited both as Test Labs AND as Inspection
Agencies which, by the way, helps to eliminate the potential conflict of
interest between the two entities and goes a long way in Quality Assurance
development.

>It has been my experience,
>particularly on smaller projects, that the majority of owners, contractors
>and inspectors are unaware of or ignore these provisions.  Even in Los
>Angeles, where the prescribed daily report form for the deputies requires
>them to certify that they were not employed by the contractor, I routinely
>encounter inspection reports signed by inspectors who I know were selected
>and paid by builders.  I struggle with how big an issue to make of this.
>Does anyone have any relevant thoughs or suggestions.
>
>Drew A. Norman, S.E.
>Drew A. Norman and Associates
>
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R. Sandy Pringle       STRUCTURAL INSPECTION CONSULTANTS Inc. 
sandyp(--nospam--at)sic-inc.com 	 (800)598-1970    Fax(310)376-5294 
http://www.sic-inc.com	 Hermosa Beach & Redondo Beach, CA

The trouble with the world is that the stupid are cocksure 
and the intelligent are full of doubt. -Bertrand Russell