Prosecutions brought by the Board of Professional Engineers of Queensland (‘BPEQ’) provide an interesting insight into the types of conduct which has aggrieved users of engineering services in Queensland.
Below is a brief summary of some of the disciplinary proceedings and prosecutions brought by the BPEQ.
- P was engaged to prepare engineers designs for a residential property and to carry out inspections of the footings and slab. P carried out the design work for the house and another employee of P’s firm undertook the inspections. In relation to the footing system construction, P failed to properly document a design variation and certified a structural design which made no reference to the design variation. P agreed that this failure constituted unsatisfactory professional conduct. The Tribunal ordered that P pay a monetary penalty and the Board’s costs.
- T was retained to complete the structural design of a swimming pool to be built adjacent to a home on steeply sloping land. Following construction of the pool, T signed an inspection certificate. T did not seek or obtain any evidence or confirmation as to the degree of compaction achieved, which was crucial to the integrity of the design. After the pool was completed, cracks appeared and the pool began to leak. The Tribunal found that T’s conduct fell below the standard which might reasonably be expected of a RPEQ by the public or T’s professional peers. T accepted the inappropriateness of the conduct. The Tribunal ordered that T be reprimanded and imposed a monetary penalty.
- L prepared design drawings for a land subdivision project which were approved by for construction by the local Council with some conditions. A contractor subsequently commenced construction in a manner which did not comply with the approved design. Upon discovering the discrepancy, L directed that the contractor cease work. L then made a request to the Council to accept the works and in support of the request sent “as constructed” drawings to the Council, which were a copy of the original approved drawings and did not include any amendments to reflect the changes to the design. L also sent the Council a construction certificate which falsely stated that construction was in accordance with the drawings, despite knowing that the drawings prepared by L and submitted to Council marked “as constructed” did not represent what had actually been constructed. Tribunal found that L’s actions constituted unsatisfactory professional conduct and ordered L to pay a monetary penalty and the Board’s costs.
- R prepared design documentation and completed a Form 15 Compliance Certificate in relation to the design for a residential dwelling. After the home was built, the owners noticed openings and movement in the fill platform and distress became evident in the front section of the residence. Investigations following a complaint from the owners found that the site was under-classified and some aspects of the design were not suitable for the dwelling. The Tribunal found that R’s conduct demonstrated a fundamental lack of understanding of, or regard for, the proper engineering practices and principles required to safely design the house. The parties agreed to conditions being placed on R’s registration as a RPEQ. The Tribunal ordered that R be reprimanded and imposed a monetary penalty.
Join us for our upcoming webinar When Engineering Goes Wrong on 30 November to hear more on BPEQ prosecutions and litigated claims involving engineers, including mechanical, acoustic and geotechnical case studies as well as structural. Enter promotional code HAPPY1st at checkout for free registration, celebrating our first birthday and our last event for the year.