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One recent event, which (unfortunately) has received scant publicity, is the publication by the DTI of the report of the study teams on professional liability. The DTI called the report the ‘Likierman Report’, because Professor Andrew Likierman was Chairman of the steering group. There were three separate study teams, one for construction professionals apart from surveyors, one for auditors, and one for surveyors. J.J. Ward
Mr A. N. Beal (M) (R. H. Thomason & Partners) This paper is an interesting and valuable review of the current position on steel SHS tube connection design. It is disturbing to learn that tubes are commonly undersized by up to 6% in this country and 10% in the USA. It is even more disturbing to learn that the IIW/Eurocode formulae on which British Steel has based its joint design guide ‘rely on a significant amount of over-run in the yield stress to achieve adequate safety levels’ and that British Steel’s recommended safe loads have been based on applying a safety factor of only 1.5 to these, rather than the 1.7 required by BS449.
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. Verulam