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Slip and Fall - Engineer or Architect?

Slip and Fall - Engineer or Architect?

Slip and Fall - Engineer or Architect?

(OP)
Is it common for engineers to opine on code issues that pertain to slip and fall claims? Such as, handrail height didn't meet code when built, etc. Or does this fall to an architect only realm? Given that the code requirements are fairly straightforward it would seem like either type of professional could opine, but was just curious.

RE: Slip and Fall - Engineer or Architect?

Traditionally, this type issue would be strictly for the architect, assuming you are talking about commercial and residential buildings. But in today's world, architects have abdicated so many of their duties that the lines of responsibility are blurred.

RE: Slip and Fall - Engineer or Architect?

Quite a while ago I was involved in providing an opinion for a slip and fall legal case. The issue revolved around the type of float finish of the concrete surface and opinions on both sides were provided by engineers, not architects. I would imagine that geometric issues with handrails would be handled by architects, whereas failure/collapse of handrails would be handled by engineers, although there could be some overlap in certain situations. There are lots of engineers that design/specify guards for stairs, etc... without any architect involvement.

RE: Slip and Fall - Engineer or Architect?

I have seen a few 'litigation' engineers in my area list slip and fall as one of their areas of work

RE: Slip and Fall - Engineer or Architect?

Forensic74....This is extremely rare, but I disagree with hokie66!!

If the issue involves testing, it is rare that an architect will get involved. I have done investigations for slip and fall cases and have never had an architect on the other side. Most often it is another engineer, usually a mechanical engineer.

I do agree that architects have abdicated their responsibilities many times over.

RE: Slip and Fall - Engineer or Architect?

The AIA seems to believe that the architect has at least the responsibility to design safe structures:
http://www.aia.org/practicing/groups/kc/AIAB081070

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RE: Slip and Fall - Engineer or Architect?

I agree with Ron. The Engr. Consulting firm i work at deals with these types of claims (not me personally) and it is always engineer vs engineer. I think the assumption is that architects don't have the training to measure heights, slopes, traction, and then analyze the results like an Engineer. I mean architects just pick out colors and move our bearing walls after we design the structure for fun, right?!?

My boss considers himself a forensic engineer. He is licensed (PE) but all he does is correct and comment on things architects and other engineers do wrong. He dabbles in Arch, Struc, & Mech. and is rather gifted in all three when it comes to specific details. We have done abut 3-4 trip and fall claims in the past 5 years. Pretty rare.

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