×
INTELLIGENT WORK FORUMS
FOR ENGINEERING PROFESSIONALS

Log In

Come Join Us!

Are you an
Engineering professional?
Join Eng-Tips Forums!
  • Talk With Other Members
  • Be Notified Of Responses
    To Your Posts
  • Keyword Search
  • One-Click Access To Your
    Favorite Forums
  • Automated Signatures
    On Your Posts
  • Best Of All, It's Free!
  • Students Click Here

*Eng-Tips's functionality depends on members receiving e-mail. By joining you are opting in to receive e-mail.

Posting Guidelines

Promoting, selling, recruiting, coursework and thesis posting is forbidden.

Students Click Here

Jobs

Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?
2

Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

(OP)
To expand upon the subject line, does a note like "I have designed this project according to ASCE 7-10 specifications?" immediately above or below my signed seal limit my liability as to what I am "certifying" by stamping those plans? Does anybody use clarifying notes to limit exposure when utilizing a stamp?

I ask because there are certain areas where our firm designs and constructs buildings that will waive certain issues like, for example, the code issues relating to proximity to property lines. The AHJ still wants a stamp on the plans but I want to just be able to certify that I am STRUCTURALLY certifying them................not that the project is in complete compliance with 2015 IBC. Is that legal? Do others do it? Is there a best way to limit/hone in on the exposure and responsibility that we ARE wanting to be responsible for as engineers?

By the same token, in other areas that we work in, for accessory structures the AHJ wants these projects designed according to the IRC, but rarely, if ever, have enforced provisions of the code other than the structural ones. Am I therefore "ok" in limiting my exposure and stamping the plans with a clarifying note along the lines of "Reviewed for structural provisions-only of the 2003 IRC" or similar? I'm afraid that if I don't clarify somehow that my stamp will be construed to be more encompassing than I intend for it to be.

I'm hoping somebody can help because the Licensing Board couldn't speak to this, the state society of PE's couldn't answer it, I'm trying to find out from the attorney general what they think about it and I'm not having much luck.

Thanks.

RE: Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

I've stamped drawings for oil and gas clients that were revised existing drawings. I added a note below my stamp that said "Stamp Applies to Rev X Only". It was common practice at that firm.

RE: Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

(OP)
Excellent! Thanks. I appreciate that perspective. Have others done the same? I'd like to know how prevalent this is and whether or not it has been successfully used where the IRC or IBC controls.

Ultimately, do we as engineers have a legal leg to stand on or could actions such as these be construed as someone who has the responsibility to protect the general public shirking their responsibilities? I'd like to think that I am being perfectly clear as to the scope of my responsibility by applying my seal............but I'm looking for perspective.

Thanks.

RE: Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

When you stamp/sign a drawing, in the US, for most states, your stamp and signature only certifies that YOU were the engineer who designed the information on that sheet.

You are not certifying the design, only that you are the responsible engineer on that design.

You can, as Rabbit12 suggests, clarify and limit the reach of your design responsibility if there's information either directly or indirectly indicated on that particular sheet.

This can take many forms:
1. Use notes to proactively and directly state the governing codes that apply.
2. Use notes to proactively and directly state which portions of the design you did or did not design.
3. Use notes to only apply to particular items (per Rabbit12 above).
4. State assumptions that were used and require "others" to verify those assumptions prior to construction or to verify and report what was found before construction.
5. State any sheets that apply or don't apply to your design (this is done in states such as Iowa where the engineer only stamps a front cover sheet, not each individual sheet).

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

Yep. You can definitely clarify what your stamp is with a note above/below it. Your original idea likely needs to be refined to be succinct, similar to @Rabbit12. The idea of stamping according to such-and-such code provisions should be addressed on the general notes page which should bear your stamp as well.

RE: Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

Many times I've seen the caveat "FOR STRUCTURAL ITEMS ONLY" under a seal where there was other information conveyed on the drawings. Typically it was on an architectural drawing where the architect included structural items (at the engineer's direction) along with all the other architectural things for which the engineer had no input and wanted no liability/responsibility.

Often these were small homes where there was no licensed architect but a 'designer'. Other times there would be an architect that would dual seal the drawings.

RE: Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

I do that all the time, though not on a note on the PE seal. The issue is that I'm usually a "delegated engineer", so there is a lot of engineering involved that I'm not a party to, and may or may not have any information on. So on my general notes page, I'll try to spell out what is or isn't included in the design work done. And in some cases, I'm trying to point out engineering work that SHOULD be done by others.

RE: Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

Yes. You can limit your responsibility in essentially any way you would like. Keep in mnd that it might limit your actual liability but it probably won't limit your exposure....which means you might still get invited to the litigation party and it will cost you to prove you have little or no actual liability.

www.simpliengineering.com
A Great Place For Engineers to Help Engineers

Follow me there.....

RE: Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

Quote (JAE (Structural)
When you stamp/sign a drawing, in the US, for most states, your stamp and signature only certifies that YOU were the engineer who designed the information on that sheet. )


For clarification of this point for myself and others, my understanding is that a stamp on the drawing certifies that the drawing accurately reflects the design, and the stamp on the design calcs certifies responsibility for the design. Have I misunderstood?

RE: Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

2
HotRod10 - from the 24 states I'm licensed in, and reading through their engineering provisions, the primary purpose of the stamp is to identify WHO the responsible engineer is.

The stamp/signature doesn't "certify", "warrant", "guarantee" anything else. If it attempted to certify a design, our professional liability insurance would be void as we engineers are always held to a standard of care (what another reasonable engineer would have done in our shoes with regard to a specific design effort). And insurance carriers do not insure us against perfection, but the standard of care. They always emphasis avoidance of those types of words (i.e. certify/warrant/guarantee).

The question as to whether a drawing accurately reflects the design - that is part of the identified engineer's responsibility to see that the communicated design was carefully performed as would another reasonable engineer.

So in a sense, you are NOT certifying the the drawing reflects the design,
but rather,
You are saying "I am responsible for this design and as a licensed engineer I have prepared it with care as would any other responsible and reasonable engineer."

For calculations, you state it generally correctly in my view. The stamp identifies who is responsible for the design.

Splitting hairs perhaps but that's how I have always read the engineering provisions.

Check out Eng-Tips Forum's Policies here:
FAQ731-376: Eng-Tips.com Forum Policies

RE: Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

(OP)
Great discussion folks! Thanks for answering my question and then some. It has been very helpful!!

RE: Is it possible to limit the extent to which an engineers stamp applies on a set of permit drawings?

In our office (at the DOT), as the design engineer I do the design calculations to size the girders, cross frame members, etc. The design is checked by another engineer, back checked and stamped by me (since I a PE; the checker would review and stamp if the designer is not a PE) The structural details are then drawn (or finalized, if we're behind) and checked using my design. The final check is done by the the squad leader, who checks, among other things, that the details are in accordance with the design. As I understand it, that is all that he takes responsibility for. He does not review the design, though, so I wanted to be sure our understanding of his responsibility is correct.

Red Flag This Post

Please let us know here why this post is inappropriate. Reasons such as off-topic, duplicates, flames, illegal, vulgar, or students posting their homework.

Red Flag Submitted

Thank you for helping keep Eng-Tips Forums free from inappropriate posts.
The Eng-Tips staff will check this out and take appropriate action.

Reply To This Thread

Posting in the Eng-Tips forums is a member-only feature.

Click Here to join Eng-Tips and talk with other members! Already a Member? Login


Resources

White Paper – Choosing the Right Spring Loaded Connector
In today’s cost-sensitive world, designers are often driven to specify the lowest cost solution for every aspect of their designs to ensure that their solution is competitively priced and their company remains profitable. However, specifying a low-cost, low-quality connector solution can result in premature failure, considerable re-work costs and damage to reputations. Download Now
eBook – Own the Lifecycle: Sustainable Business Transformation
Increasingly, product and services companies are seeking more information and control in the operational lifecycle of their products, including service and use. Better information about the operational lifecycle, and the ability to use that information, requires more than just unstructured data flowing back from products in the field. Download Now

Close Box

Join Eng-Tips® Today!

Join your peers on the Internet's largest technical engineering professional community.
It's easy to join and it's free.

Here's Why Members Love Eng-Tips Forums:

Register now while it's still free!

Already a member? Close this window and log in.

Join Us             Close