An analysis of some recent failures in civil engineering: are there lessons to be learned?
The use of machinery in civil engineering construction and operation of infrastructure projects is inevitable. This paper describes an approach to civil engineering design as a one off exercise related to individual projects. The wider issues of responsibility for approvals and for health and safety are raised, as is the importance factor when a failure is related to the economy of a small country. Awareness of risk issues and importance factors in construction plant and machinery is emphasized by reference to the failure of a launching girder which is an essential component in the construction of a major bridge structure. Finally, the relevance of inspection and maintenance for facilities which are used by the general public is highlighted by reference to a recent failure of a car parking structure in the UK, and the liability for establishing and selecting criteria to satisfy whole life costing or planned maintenance is introduced as a corollary of this.