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Re: Proposed Standard of Care "again"

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>For the past couple of years I have been contemplating how the "Standard of
>Care" can improved and better defined for structural engineering projects.
Actually standard of care is a legal term referring (roughly) the 
performance to be reasonably expected from any prudent individual 
experienced and competent in the particular discipline under question. 
Not what _can_ be done but what is usually done and by implication those 
measures which provide satisfactory service. Not to rain on the parade, 
but you're not going to be able to redefine standard of care in an e-mail 
because it already exists.

As far as the quality levels go you're only addressing existing standards 
for engineering practice covered in state engineering law. Thank God I 
can have a great deal of confidence in quality assurance levels when I do 
a pressure vessel job or a piece of equipment for a nuke plant. From what 
I read on the list, I doubt that any of these quality assurance standards 
would be worth jack if presented to a building contractor. 

Truth to tell, I haven't found that simple procedural controls, by 
themselves, are really worth a damn, without means for making acceptable 
behavior preferable to unacceptable behavior. There's an interesting 
parallel in welding QA. Specify that the welds are to be radiographed and 
you get better welds--not because quality is inpected into the welds but 
because the welders take more care, knowing they'll be digging out and 
rewelding any defects. 

You might have a lot better luck with something like this by starting out 
with a conscise statement of exactly what particular behaviors you intend 
to address with such standards. Then you determine who is responsible for 
the behaviors and figure out what it will take to change them. You should 
also determine costs and benefits--what it cost, who pays and who 

Christopher Wright P.E.    |"They couldn't hit an elephant from
chrisw(--nospam--at)        | this distance"   (last words of Gen.
___________________________| John Sedgwick, Spotsylvania 1864)