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Re: Enforcement Question

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Hi, Daryl
Although I am sure a lot of provinces have similar acts maybe they just call them different names. Here in Ontario, we have the Construction Safety Act and then the Occupational Health and Safety Act (no, for the US readers, there is not a error in the name, it is OHSA) also called the Regulations for Industrial Establishments and finally the Ontario Building Code Act, which all can call for fines. I don't know what the fines are, but I saw in the newspaper a week ago that a local trenching company had allowed a worker to get buried up to his neck. He died, no precautions were taken. The company was fined over $100,000 and the company owner was fined $25,000. These seem low to me, but perhaps the courts take into account the company's ability to pay.
Gary

Daryl Richardson wrote:
Gary,

Somewhere along the line I'm sure there is an authority that can act. If it's not the Village it's the County; if it's not the county it's the State (or in Canada's case, it's the Province); otherwise there would be no rule of law in the land.

In Alberta's case we have the Province of Alberta Safety Codes Act. The 1995 edition of this act provides for a maximum fine of $10,000 for a safety violation of the building code plus $1,000 per day that the situation remains unsafe for a first offence and double those values for subsequent offences. Surprisingly, it's the Contractor who is on the hook for the fines not the Design Professional. Mind you, I expect that the courts would allow the Contractor to recover his losses (at least the initial fine but probably not the fine for delay in correcting the safety violation) from an incompetent or negligent design professional in at least some cases. I'd be surprised (make that astonished) if all other states and provinces didn't also have similar legislation in place.

Regards,

H. Daryl Richardson

----- Original Message ----- From: "Gary L. Hodgson and Assoc." <ghodgson(--nospam--at)bellnet.ca>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Saturday, March 08, 2008 7:04 AM
Subject: Re: Enforcement Question


Why does the local authority have to have an ordinance to act. Do they not have to enforce the building code? The authority has to protect the public even if the retaining wall is on private property. What about children? Also, Paul has an obligation as an engineer to protect the public and the very first thing I would do if I were in his shoes would be to write a letter to the municipalty, the owner and send copies to my lawyer and the city's lawyer. Been there, done that.
Gary

Haan, Scott M POA wrote:
If the local government does not have an ordinance giving them authority to action against a dangerous structure / condition on private property then they have no jurisdiction to due anything about. You can report it but it
isn't going to help.

Most local governments will at least have some kind of law to get rid of "attractive nuisances" which are like abandoned buildings that attract kids but are dangerous or attract vagrants etc... I don't think a retaining wall
would be considered an attractive nuisance.

-----Original Message-----
From: Daryl Richardson [mailto:h.d.richardson(--nospam--at)shaw.ca] Sent: Friday, March 07, 2008 8:24 AM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Enforcement Question

Paul,

It might be interesting to see what would happen if you called the
local television station, or maybe even the local police, since it is a
situation where someone could get very badly hurt.

Regards,

H. Daryl Richardson

----- Original Message -----
From: "Paul Feather" <PFeather(--nospam--at)se-solutions.net>
To: <seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org>
Sent: Friday, March 07, 2008 9:58 AM
Subject: RE: Enforcement Question


To quote the report "failure of the retaining wall is inevitable, the
only uncertainty is when".

They still want nothing to do with it.

Paul Feather PE, SE
pfeather(--nospam--at)SE-Solutions.net
www.SE-Solutions.net


-----Original Message-----
From: sscholl2(--nospam--at)juno.com [mailto:sscholl2(--nospam--at)juno.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2008 8:46 PM
To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
Subject: Re: Enforcement Question

I believe the key is whether or not you indicated to the City:  a
potentially dangerous condition; i.e. the possibility of the wall
falling down.

Stan Scholl, P.E.
Laguna Beach, CA
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