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Is it wrong and no one will listen?[Subject Prev][Subject Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next]
- To: seaint(--nospam--at)seaint.org
- Subject: Is it wrong and no one will listen?
- From: "David Merrick, Structural Engineer, Merrick Group" <mrkgp.se(--nospam--at)gmail.com>
- Date: Mon, 11 Jul 2011 18:20:57 -0700
Seismically dangerous whistle blower! Code change errors? Design errors? Oh what to do if its wrong and no one wants to listen. Make it an adrenaline experience? Get advice?Be a real Structural and know the conditions, its a more complicated gray-area than you had ever seen before. Find your own error and be big enough to express your error and support the project?
Quit your job?All comments and statements, in this post, are not to be used, followed, or relied on. Use a lawyer for guidance.
Be very clear on your motive.Find a lawyer. Usually there will be several willing to help for free. Your lawyer may suggest the following.
Only do what a lawyer recommends be sure that they are serving to protect you, life, and property.
Your lawyer might tell you. Know if it can result in a dangerous condition. Your lawyer might tell you. Realize the difference between using the words "not to code" and "dangerous"75% of strength required for minimal upgrades in Un-reinforced Masonry Building Codes or Historical codes may be defensible limits for what is dangerous. These codes may only be targeting earthquakes with a return period of something greater than 150 years. Standard designs for new construction may be good for earthquakes with a return period of about 500 years.
Earthquakes chasers know they will survive. Engineers knowingly enter areas that are seismically dangerous but are less likely to live or work there. An infrastructure hazard may not create a high risk to each temporary individual use, but can be an acceptable threat; dangerous or not, to life and to investments that constantly rely on the infrastructure's services and it's symbol of economic strength to a region. The later may not be a reason to risk your career on, or it might. What Would Obama Do? (WWOD)
"Did you enter the claimed dangerous area?" "yes." "Had you previously determined of said area to be dangerous?" "Yes." "How could it be dangerous if you were willing to enter?" "My short site visit limited my exposure and is considered an acceptable risk." "Is dangerous a condition that is eminent?" "Yes." "If eminent, how could a short visit not be dangerous?"
"It is eminent only in the event of an earthquake that is large enough to knock it down. There are historical codes for abatement of dangerous buildings but they rely on other older codes that did not include seismic penalties for as many non-ductile conditions, lack of redundancies and the omega factor. What can be referenced is what is allowed to not be abated." "There are even dangerous buildings that are not yet dangerous and will not be considered dangerous during a study period to report and come up with a plan to change the condition." "Could one conclude that a seismically dangerous condition is not really dangerous?" "No a jurisdiction is determining a seismically dangerous condition to force an upgrade or removal of the structure because it is dangerous. It is not dangerous if there is no occurring earthquake but we can not control a moment to be earthquake free." "This is similar to fire related dangerous conditions."
Infrastructures, hospitals may have a higher demand. Find what is not being forced to be removed. Engineers do not make political decision of what is to be considered dangerous, however most laws state that it is up to an engineer. You might even find a statistically more dangerous condition than your dangerous one but it is allowed to remain (not dangerous), in another jurisdiction, state or country, or reviewed by another engineer. It is not in your project.
Now if you are clear that you are on the far side of the gray area, your lawyer might tell you.
Write a letter of the condition, with supporting facts, to your supervisor.Listen with an open mind for your own possible errors as well as seeing if reviewers recognize your concern.
If you are wrong and acknowledge it then you may win respected and keep your job.
If you are threatened by others that you will loose your job then you are more likely on the right track and will loose your job.
Your lawyer might tell you.Beware of busy study tasks that delay your need to leave, such as discussions of the gray area or how to spell gray. Did you stay on longer to make more money for personal gain, an unwarranted raise?
Your lawyer might tell you.Write letter of resignation to company. Reference letter to supervisor and conversations.
You might even be recommended to not write letters. Use a lawyer not this posting.
When you are now disassociated and, might, might not be responsible for future injury to life or property. Do not slandered the company. You will probably have taken supporting evidence that, by contract, you are not allowed to have. Referencing those non-existent documents may help in the future to freshen you memory.
This is when there will be the most concern, by the old company, for what you are willing to do, now that you are detached. If you went this far you may want to change your engineering specialty and widen your horizons.
What next does your lawyer tell you to do? Will he now represent the client to sue the engineer of record? The client may have the option to keep the structure and settle for the money. Will that be what you wanted? Oh no, you will be a percipient witness and and get paid almost nothing to avoid a conflict of interest. You might as well claim amnesia due to the stress and go home, if you still have one.
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