The company and I had been arguing about the need for quality controll but they didn't see the need. I got fired for arguing about safety with my boss(the other engineers agreed with me but he was the boss). A few months later some of the new hardware from China failed and killed 3 men and injured others. The chinese steel was less than 1/6th the strength it was supposed to be.
In 1989 the World Series Earthquake struck San Francisco. The double decker bridge was severely damaged. It took 26 years to replace it. The whole process was rife with shenanigans. A Chinese company got the project and it took longer and cost alot more than was planned. When they were ready to open it, they fround defective hardware and had to delay the opening. As I recall it will cost $500 million to replace the defective hardware. I guess they saved money by not having enough inspectors and not doing proper quality assurance.
When I started out in engineering, the supervisor spent alot of his time reviewing his engineers work to catch mistakes. Recent designs that I have seen show little evidence of review and are pretty sloppy. They just look at how much they saved by not spending time to review it. I'm very glad to be retired and out of it. Good Luck, Rick
We seem to be seeing more failures of structures under construction now than ever before.
Boyscout makes some very strong points that I have seen in my line of work as well. Not picking on just Chinese steel but many products being imported from countries I can't even pronounce sometimes are NOT of the quality we expect. I saw test results about two years ago from "BRAND NEW" imported nylon straps used in my line of work for holding heavy loads that can't use chains. BRAND NEW these things were failing at less than half the rating on the safety label. Not too many years back we didn't replace these straps until the internal safety thread became visible. That was the early warning that "hey this thing is worn and may not work to its limit." Now I'm seeing imported straps that when you cut thru them brand new don't even have the safety thread.! So, yes imports need to be carefully checked/scrutinized when any safety/building project is being considered. Please note : I am not condemning ALL imports, some are very good and of high quality, we just need to make sure before all we look at is the $$$ up front.
Inspection and review should start with the design/prints as Boyscout points out. I have seen in the last few years where certain builders have used the same architects on more than one project and when I review prints I find portions that are just "cut and past" from other projects with wrong locations, soil types, conditions etc. How am I suppose to say something is safe when that kind of lack of attention and detail is in the working prints? Yes, review USED to be important, now everybody is looking at the "bottom price to squeak it thru" and "get-r-done"
Like Boyscout I too have lost positions in my working years because I would not bend on safety related issues. The first company was out of business within a year. Thankfully I am not aware of anybody being hurt from the "short-cuts" or "why don't you go get some coffee" times from my last employer, but I can look in the mirror to shave knowing I did what I could... I have had several of my co-workers call me over the holidays and say "hey, Jim you did your job, they just chose to shoot the messenger" makes me feel a little better, but I'm not able to retire yet.
Thanks for letting me vent some