First of all to start analyze this case study we can consider a major factors that can influence our thoughts, such as, technical factors (engineering), human factors (unprofessional behavior), organizational factors (mis-communication between various organisms involved and careless managerial practices) and socio-cultural factors (Negligent Local/State).
After reading the text and searching more about this event, in our opinion the ultimately responsible for the fatal incident was the engineering design team (G.C.E. International Inc., Daniel M.Duncan, Jack D.Gillum). This engineering firm was found responsible for the change of a structure in the building (change from one-rod to a two-rod system).
Data also show us that even if Havens failed to review the shop drawings or to specifically note the box beam hanger rod connections, the engineers were still responsible for the final check. Evidence showed us that G.C.E. engineers did not "check" the connection or the atrium roof collapse, and that they placed too much reliance on Havens.
An engineer has always to put the safety of the public above all else and G.C.E. failed in this. The engineers neglected to check the safety and load capacity of the hanger connection to begin with. Thus, with the Havens change in the design (from a single to a double hanger rod box beam connection), the engineering team was unsuccessful because they did not look over the shop drawings one last time.
The engineers at GCE had a professional obligation and duty to take into consideration the possibility that Havens Steel may have at the end a disregarded problem with the design or design change.
For these reasons, we consider the G.C.E firm the main responsible for this fatal design flaw.
Does the disputed telephone call matter to the outcome of the case? Why or why not? Explain your answer.
The basic problem in this case was a lack of proper communication between Jack D. Gillum from G.C.E. and Havens Steel.
The process in which GCE revised and approved their drawings was deficien because if the design had gone through the required “process meetings,” the fatal flaw may have been detected and the disaster may have never occurred. And the main cause for this was the disputed telephone call. For this reason, we consider that the telephone call matter a lot to the outcome of the case.
After the change in the design, the Havens Steel Company claims that they informed G.C.E. International Inc. of the alteration, but the engineering firm denies ever receiving such a call for change approval.
However, G.C.E. seal of approval was attached to the revised design drawings and they denied ever receiving such a call from Havens.
The telephone call was the major responsible for the mis-communication between these two organizations: GCE claimed miscommunication because they argued that the drawings prepared and sent to Haven were only preliminary sketches but were interpreted by Havens as finalized drawings. Facilities Management
In terms of meeting building codes, please detail / explain the responsibilities of the following parties:
a) The Engineer
In terms of meeting building codes, the engineer is the main responsible for putting the public´s welfare above everything else. They have to consider the public/client the most important value of the hotel.
An engineer has also defends a design that adhere to the ASCE Engineering Code of Ethics.
In this specific case, the engineers of G.C.E. have also an obligation and duty to take into consideration the possibility that Havens Steel may have mistaken or overlooked a problem with the design.
A Hotel Engineer in this kind of situation has to consider all possible errors that can occurred, checking everything and verifying all details of design. In conclusion, the engineer must assume an ethic position when any change in design involving public safety carries a licensed engineer's signature. b) The Owner
In terms of meeting building codes, the owner of the hotel is the main responsible for a final inspection to see if everything is fine. In this case, the owner also failed because failure to issue full on-site inspection of hotel construction after the collapse of the atrium roof months earlier. The owner at the hotel has to maintain everything right and guarantee that whole hotel services and constructions are working properly with the maximum of safety to his clients. The perfect action that this owner should have was to make an onsite inspection to revealed the problem while the hotel was still being built. Facilities Management
c) The Hotel General Manager
The General Manager primary responsibility is to achieve hotel profitability through revenue generation, cost control, guest satisfaction and development of associates while maintaining the standard operating procedures of the hotel property. He/She ensures that all guest related issues are resolved in a manner consistent with the company’s standards.
The main responsibility of the General Manager in this case is to maintain safety and security measures for the property both from a guest perspective and employee perspective.
d) The Hotel Facilities Manager
The Facilities Manager in this hotel has the main responsibility to be the 'Building Manager' for the hotel, ensuring statutory compliance and being the primary contact in respect of all estates maintenance and development matters, undertaking risk assessments, organising emergency procedures, liaising with occupants, eliciting their cooperation or informing them of developments. This person also ensures that all of the services provided excel in performance standards and meet all customer expectations, coordinates all aspects of health, safety and fire safety in all hotel and one main important is when on duty, He/She takes full responsibility for general supervision and control of organised events (such in this case), paying particular attention to legislative compliance, including the health and safety and welfare of people. Facilities Management
Do you agree with the findings that the principal engineers
involved should have been subject to discipline for gross
negligence in the practice of engineering? Should they have
lost their licenses, temporarily or permanently?
The engineers failed to put the public’s best interest first in this case. For this reason and also for all that we already referred, we consider that the principal engineers involved should have a legal and/or ethical punishment. They have to be reprimand for the negligence, incompetence, misconduct and unprofessional conduct that they applied in the practice of engineering.
In our opinion, both engineers involved in this case should be penalize with a lost of their professional engineering licenses which will forbidden them to practice engineer in some states of U.S.A. They should not lost their license forever but it is fair to discipline them by taking the license to practice in that surrounding area.
Was it fair that G.C.E., as a company, was held liable for gross negligence and engineering incompetence? Why or why not?
According with our opinion in the first question, the engineer design team (G.C.E.) was the main responsible for this accident. Therefore, we assume that this firm has to penalize in terms of code of ethics and proper way of working. The engineer team has to be held liable for gross negligence and engineering incompetence, reprimanding the main responsible that work there. Also, as we can confirm by currently data, a number of firms involved with G.C.E. were bankrupt.
Although, the engineer company despite of being considered the main guilty, was not the only one responsible for the mis-communication that resulted in this tragedy. For this reason, we think that also the fabricator team (Havens Steel) should be penalizing for not communicate and work in team with the other company.
List the responsibilities of the Hotel General Manager,
Facilities Manager and Duty Manager (who was on duty at the
time of the accident) if the maximum capacity was overcome?
At the time of the accident the main responsible that was on duty was the Duty Manager. The main responsibility of the Duty Manager is this situation is to be responsible for the duty management of staff and day to day operations and recreational facilities. However, we can also enumerate some of the principal functions of this Duty Manager:
1. To ensure the effective management, safety and control of the facility; 2. To effectively deploy and supervise the staff;
3. To provide a quality service in terms of facilities operation; 4. To ensure completion of all relevant facility administration and financial procedures;
5. To undertake technical / maintenance duties throughout the facility; 6. Provide feedback to the Area Manager in the operation of the facility; 7. To assist on the development of the service;
8. To ensure the effective management, safety and control of the facility.