To: "INTERNET:seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org" <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Subject: RE: AISC Code of Standard Practice 2000
From: Mark Gilligan <MarkKGilligan(--nospam--at)compuserve.com>
Date: Sun, 25 Feb 2001 00:47:41 -0500
I think a little caution on the part of the engineer is warrented given
1) The steel industry in the original draft of the OSHA Steel Errection
Standard made the EOR responsible for many aspects of steel errection.
This changed as a result of input from the engineering community.
2) In previous versions of the AISC Code of Standard Practice there was
fairly specific responsiblity placed on the EOR for certain aspects of
steel errection. There are still some aspects of this reflected in
sections 3.1.4 and 7.10 which deserve some careful consideration.
So it was the steel industry that likely provided the "expert" witness with
support for his opinion.
If the steel industry has reformed we should all be open to this
possibility. On the other hand when one tries to change ones behavior one
often has to be especially vigilant that one does not inadvertently fall
back on old and inappropriate ways of saying things.
One error that code writers often make is that they often keep adding
wordage to clarify something and in the process create a confusing
document. I would suggest that often the best thing is to say less. This
attempt to define the responsibility of the EOR could easily be resolved by
making "no" statement as to the responsibilities of the EOR.
The model General Conditions such as AIA A201 already address the issue by
stating that the Contractor is responsible for the means and methods of
construction. In addition it is generally recognized in case law that the
EOR does not warrent the outcome of the completed structure in the absense
of some specific contractual obligation. The EOR is not responsible for
the completed structure. Rather he has an obligation to perform his
servicesin accordance with the standard of care of other engineers. This
seems to work for concrete buildings. (Pardon my use of the "C" word.) Why
can it not work for steel buildings?
>>Can you elaborate as to how this statement [in Code Section 1.8] can be
>or protection, as far as the structural engineer is concerned?
The Cliff's notes on the Committee discussions surrounding Section 1.8 in
the 2000 AISC Code are as follows.
The issue was raised that it is all too common for a prostitute, er, I mean
"expert" witness, to blame the engineer for a collapse during erection that
had nothing to do with the structural adequacy of the complete design.
Accordingly, the engineers on the AISC Code Committee expressed the need
some protection in the AISC Code of Standard Practice. It was stated that
the engineer normally performs the design of the completed structure, not
the partially erected structure. It was further stated that the erector is
responsible for the partially erected structure and that the engineer could
only be expected to have responsibility for the structural adequacy of the
completed design, especially since the engineer would have no idea in most
cases how the erector would plan to go about putting the building up. These
ideas came together into the language you are now reading in Sections 1.8.1
and 1.8.2 of the 2000 AISC Code.
>Every interpretation I can think of is bad. Here are a few:
>Wrong strength steel is used by the fabricator: engineer is responsible.
>Details changed by someone without the engineer's knowledge after the
>shop drawings are approved: engineer is responsible
>Wrong size anchor bolts installed: engineer is responsible.
>Contractor cuts out part of the bottom flange of a beam to let a pipe
>pass through: engineer is responsible.
I can assure you that in no way were any of these kinds of interpretations
intended by the Committee. Would you testify to these kinds of
interpretations yourself? I hope not.
>It appears that some other group had a better lobby and won this point
>and hung this thing around the necks of structural engineers.
As Secretary of the Committee, I can say first-hand that representation of
interests on the AISC Code Committee was very well balanced. Furthermore, I
can tell you that the people on the Code Committee worked together to find
common ground with the intent of producing an AISC Code of Standard
that would be fair and equitable to all parties. They certainly didn't form
a lobby or try to hang each other. If you could have been there to hear
their discussions as I was, you'd have the same high regard for all of them
that I do.
I hope you will agree that there is no need for an Oliver Stone expose at