Failure Investigation Process

by John M. Hanson, Elstner Associates Inc, Northbrook, IL, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Reducing Failures of Engineered Facilities


The purpose of this paper is to consider the present failure investigation process, in order to assess whether failures are being properly investigated, and also whether sufficient information about the failure is being communicated to both the public and the engineering profession. It is convenient to divide the investigation of failure into three time periods: the immediate aftermath of a failure, the on-site investigations, and subsequent off-site actions. Situations that are considered will relate primarily to major, but not necessarily catastrophic, failures. Investigations of serviceability or durability problems are normally carried out without pressure to communicate, except, of course, as imposed by the client.

Subject Headings: Failure analysis | Forensic engineering | Material failures | Construction materials | Materials processing | Structural failures | Public information programs | Disasters

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