Canadian Consulting Engineer

What about that seal? Well, it’s complicated

From "Putting Some Engineering Myths to Rest," by Michael Mastromatteo, Engineering Dimensions, September-October 2013, p. 37, published by Professional Engineers of Ontario:

October 29, 2013   Canadian Consulting Engineer

From “Putting Some Engineering Myths to Rest,” by Michael Mastromatteo, Engineering Dimensions, September-October 2013, p. 37, published by Professional Engineers of Ontario:

“Myth: If I don’t seal anything, I’m not liable for the work.” — Failure of an engineer to sign and seal an engineering document does not relieve the engineer of legal liability, since sealing documents has nothing to do with the question of liability for negligence. Engineers are liable because they prepared the documents, or because they approved them, not because they signed or sealed them.

“As is indicated in PEO’s Use of the Professional Engineer’s Seal guideline, the seal is an indication of who is taking professional responsibility for the work. That engineer is the person who will be held accountable by the professional body if something goes wrong.

“Also, use of the seal is not optional. Failing to seal a document or drawing provided as part of service to the public is a violation of the PEA and would be considered to be an act of professional misconduct.”

To see the article, which covers a range of myths “held among the public and practitioners alike,” click here.


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