A very popular pastime of Australian parliaments is to pass legislation and regulation on the basis that, once it becomes the law, everyone will comply and it will, therefore, be effective. A concomitant result is that many boards and their legal advisers conduct compliance audits to confirm that these legal obligations have been met and, having done so, declare that … Read More
In my article Why Risk changed to Due Diligence & Why it’s become so Important, I briefly described the principle of; do unto others, otherwise known as the Principle of Reciprocity, and how Governments in Australia have incorporated the concept in legislation in the form of due diligence. With this in mind, it’s important to consider the unintended consequences of … Read More
At our April launch of the 11th Edition of Engineering Due Diligence textbook, I discussed how the service of Risk Reviews has changed to Due Diligence and why it’s become so important for Australian organisations. But to start, I need to go back to 1996. The R2A team and I were conducting risk reviews on large scale engineering projects, such … Read More
Background The start of 2019 has seen much media attention to various incidents resulting from, arguably, negligent decision making. One such incident was the recent high-rise apartment building fire in Melbourne that resulted in hundreds of residents evacuated. The fire is believed to have started due to a discarded cigarette on a balcony and quickly spread five storeys. The Melbourne … Read More
In October and November (2018), I presented due diligence concepts at four conferences: The Chemeca Conference in Queenstown, the ISPO (International Standard for maritime Pilot Organizations) conference in Brisbane, the Australian Airports Association conference in Brisbane (with Phil Shaw of Avisure) and the NZ Maritime Pilots conference in Wellington. The last had the greatest representation of overseas presenters. In particular, … Read More
Australian guidance for gas and liquid petroleum pipeline design guidance comes, to a large extent, from Australian Standard 2885. Amongst other things AS2885 Pipelines – Gas and liquid petroleum sets out a method for ensuring these pipelines are designed to be safe. Like many technical standards, AS2885 provides extensive and detailed instruction on its subject matter. Together, its six sub-titles … Read More
Engineers Australia with the support of the Risk Engineering Society have embarked on a project to develop a Risk Engineering Book of Knowledge (REBoK). Register to join the community. The first REBoK session, delivered by Warren Black, considered the domain of risk and risk engineering in the context risk management generally. It described the commonly available processes and the way … Read More
A recent conversation with a consultant to a large law firm described the current legal trend in Melbourne, notably that rights had become more important than responsibilities.
Arising from a recent expert witness commission, the legal counsel directed R2A’s attention to Makita (Australia) Pty Ltd v Sprowles [2001} NSWCA 305 (14 September 2001), which provides an excellent review of the role and responsibility of an expert witness, at least in NSW.
Both law and engineering are practical rather than theoretical activities in the sense that their ultimate purpose is to change the state of the world rather than to merely understand it. The lawyers focus on social change whilst the engineers focus on physical change. It is the power to cause change that creates the ethical concerns. Knowing does not have … Read More