Potential for catastrophe in building operations, and the question of professional responsibility
In our column for 20 March, Peter Mawer posed a dilemma arising from the danger of successive piecemeal alterations to terraced properties, where the progressive removal of stabilising walls could be in danger of leading to structural instability. The professional duty of an engineer acting in relation to a particular part of the terrace could be a problem - how far should his responsibility extend? We have received a number of contributions on this interesting topic. Mr A. Aitken, from Glasgow, relates what has been his own reaction in a similar situation, taking account of his assessment of possible consequences:
With regard to the item on professional duty inspired by Mr Mawer’s contribution, I should like to point out that, in practice (as opposed to hindsight), it is very difficult to decide what to do for the best.