Risks and Liabilities in Engineering Practice

by John P. Gnaedinger, (F.ASCE), Pres.; Soil Testing Services, Inc., Northbrook, Ill.,
Narbey Khachaturian, (F.ASCE), Prof. of Civ. Engrg.; Univ. of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Ill.,
Walter E. Hanson, (F.ASCE), Chmn. of the Board; Hanson Engrs., Inc., Springfield, Ill.,

Serial Information: Issues in Engineering: Journal of Professional Activities, 1979, Vol. 105, Issue 4, Pg. 207-217

Document Type: Journal Paper


Practicing engineers face increasingly more difficult risk and liability situations. These result from larger and more complex projects and from uncertainties of materials, identification of loads to which structures may be subjected, and the suitability of methods and quality control of construction. Engineers can not guarantee safety. However, risks and liabilities can be reduced substantially by improved programs of continuing professional competence, by peer reviews, and by more expeditious methods of settling disputes and claims. Mediator-arbitrator procedures have distinct advantages over both litigation and ordinary arbitration in the resolution of disputes. ASCE and other professional organizations should be more active in the development and implementation of programs and procedures to reduce risks and liabilities in engineering practice.

Subject Headings: Risk management | Liability | Engineering profession | Construction materials | Construction methods | Professional societies | Uncertainty principles | Load factors

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