I am writing in reply to your article Tribunal rejects site engineers dismissal claim (Construction News, January 11), which raises a number of questions.
1) Why was an engineer who had recently been promoted from being an assistant engineer solely responsible for the setting out of a 4.5 million building?
2) These days, it is very unusual for a base line not to be checked out by electronic distance measurement.
3) The primary setting out of the building should have been checked prior to the commencement of construction by the resident engineer of the structural consultants.
4) Although a 14 mm error is not acceptable in the primary setting out, an error of this amount is within the tolerance of the majority of general building projects.
I made a similar error while setting out pile caps at Ravenscraig Steelworks in the 1970s. In the middle of winter I set out a long base line and had it checked by the resident engineer.
It was subsequently found to be 35 mm short in the summer. I had failed to make a temperature correction for the steel tape.
After 28 years in the construction industry as a freelance engineer, I have experienced all manner of problems, prejudice, jealousy , corruption, threats and so on. But I have also worked on some very enjoyable contracts.
I hope that Michelle Morgan recovers from this setback and continues with her career.