Construction under Fire

by Ralph D. Ellis, Jr., (M.ASCE), Asst. Prof.; Civ. Engrg. Dept., University of Florida, Gainesville, FL,


Serial Information: Civil Engineering—ASCE, 1991, Vol. 61, Issue 11, Pg. 51-53


Document Type: Feature article

Abstract: Construction is not carried out in a laboratory setting under controlled conditions—especially in areas of socio-political conflict, such as El Salvador in the 1980s. Instead, the construction project, if managed by an American firm, may become a tempting target for terrorists. What makes things more difficult is that terrorist acts are seldom random, or haphazardly planned. They're usually well-choreographed and the costs and benefits are carefully considered. With that in mind, FMI-Hammer Joint Venture, (composed of Fred McGilvray, Inc. and Hammer Corp., both of Miami) developed a comprehensive project security plan during its stint as construction manager of three military projects in El Salvador. The jobs are long since completed, but the lessons learned are timeless. The key is to reduce the benefit and increase the cost of terrorism by properly safeguarding personnel, equipment and project itself.

Subject Headings: Construction management | Security | El Salvador | Political factors | Safety

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