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RE: Accreditation of Inspection Agencies[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: <seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org>
- Subject: RE: Accreditation of Inspection Agencies
- From: "Dennis S. Wish" <wish(--nospam--at)cwia.com>
- Date: Fri, 10 Apr 1998 14:51:52 -0700
I'm not going to get in the middle of this one, but I have some comments to add regarding Mr. Parker's claim that Sandy's concerns are self serving. I've known Sandy going on about 13 year - since I first started doing Unreinforced Masonry work. His devotion to SEAOSC has been commendable for those years and I believe, completely, that his arguments are intended to improve flaws that many of us have had to contend with over the years. Sandy has started the Inspections Committee for SEAOSC and has done much for the community in creating standards that have helped improve construction quality. This does not mean that I have to be in agreement with each and every issue that the committee brings up, but I do feel that his work is as credible as any other committee of volunteers within SEA. Certainly, his other committee members take credit for the work done by the Inspection committees, and I doubt very seriously if the other members of the committee are employees of Sandy. I have never questioned a private testing agency, although I was served as a cross-complainant by one such company who was sued for good reason - they screwed up. The design for retrofit was done based upon the initial testing that was reported by this, until then, reputable private agency. I was fortunate to be dropped from the suit - either by realization that I was not at fault, or by the reality that I had no insurance. In either case the testing agency and their lawyers wanted to share the blame even though they were the testing agency hired by the owner to do the work. This is only one example and you can be sure that I qualify a testing lab today and not assume that they are all capable. I have also been placed in a position where the contractor recommended to the owner to hire a specific inspector who came with all of the qualifications. In this case, A client of mine owned a restaurant that we were in the process of retrofitting (Beverly Hills). The new tenant hired a contractor to do the tenant improvement. In the course of his improvement (I had replaced their engineer of record) he was to pour some column pads (gravity load pads only). I was later notified by the retrofit contractor that the tenant improvement contractor was mixing the concrete by hand on the floor and that the mix looked bad. Supposedly this contractor had an inspector on the site for some welds and claimed that the inspector watched the concrete be placed. I called his bluff and notified the owner that he could either test the concrete or replace it as it did not appear mixed correctly me. I made this call on the fact that the aggregate was very apparent on the surface of the footings. The owner choose to call out a known agency who I recommended. They took two cores and were unable to do a compaction test since neither were completely dry. These cores were taken almost 10 days after placement and still failed to hold together. I reported the inspector to the city and had the contractor remove and replace the footings with a mix that was delivered to the site. My point is that I believe that any agency or inspector used to working for a specific client who happens to be a contractor is more likely than not to bend the rules to a degree. The reasons are obvious to me: he either wants to be sure he gets paid by the owner or contractor, and unknowingly he may be judging the contractor based upon prior records rather than on each and every project. Either excuse is wrong - he needs to be as objective as possible and report exactly what occurs at each project. Finally, you claim that Sandy is advertising his practice in the statements he has made. I believe that this is no more unethical than any engineer who posts a message on this list. Certainly this list is not limited to structural engineers, but is open to any person who works within this industry. Sandy is probably the most outspoken as any perceives either myself or any other member of this list with strong opinions. He is not to be faulted for that. It is my understanding that to avoid concerns of unethical practices, Sandy has chosen to pay for advertising space in the SEAOSC Newsletter in order to have his voice heard by those other than this list. I feel that this should not be required and that Sandy has every right to voice his concern to the community he serves in the form of From Experience as any other person has done - such as the publication of Ficcadenti's work in the SEAOC Proceedings. This does not provide credence to whether the publication is supported properly by facts, but is a concern stated for the benefit of the profession - not, as I firmly believe, for personal gain. With that said, I still believe you have the right to question Sandy's "facts" and comments. I think your questions are valid, but I was not keen on your tone. Let's keep this professional, please. Dennis Wish PE Dennis S. Wish PE La Quinta, California wish(--nospam--at)cwia.com ICQ# 6110557 http://wwp.mirabilis.com/6110557 "The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment." Robert Hutchins -----Original Message----- From: ParkerSCal [mailto:ParkerSCal(--nospam--at)aol.com] Sent: Friday, April 10, 1998 9:04 AM To: seaoc(--nospam--at)seaoc.org Subject: Re: Accreditation of Inspection Agencies On 3/25 yet another advertisement for Sandy appeared. As usual he is thumping his chest about A2LA accreditation. Does any jurisdiction recognize it? Why don't you get accredited by one that is relevant here in California? (perhaps DSA, OSHPD?) You mentioned the requirement for a staff engineer from ASTM E329. Why is this person conspicuously absent from your website? (Not even a name mentioned) I am the Registered Civil Engineer responsible for the organization I work for. (I won't mention its name since this forum is not intended to be used for self-promotion.) Lies, half-truths, etc. do a disservice to the structural engineering community. I am growing weary of the implication that testing laboratories are not qualified to perform inspection. Please confine these advertising claims to your website. Stop bombarding this board with claims that might be more appropriate on a late-night infomercial. James E. Parker, P. E.
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