Today in Dutch newspapers, Jan Pesie, the CEO and owner of the construction company who was responsible for the failed operation where two land cranes positioned on barges were supposed to install a bridge, acknowledge their mistakes and failure. In this project, a 187mt heavy bridge section was lifted by two hydraulic cranes, each positioned on a separate barge.
During the operation, one of the cranes tipped over and dragged the whole combination down, falling on several houses. Jan Pesie was quoted:” We don’t have the in-house expertise to perform and check the stability calculations and do the checking on the pontoons, we have failed”. Later on he was saying: ”This should be done better in any future projects and be outsourced to specialists. Although, I don’t think that any specialized company could have been able to point out either where this went wrong on forehand”. Now I do think, as project manager of a specialized transport engineering company, that it is our job to actually do so. Companies are paying a lot of money for calculations they can’t do in-house and expect to be advised about the risk’s that they will take. Sometimes they even hire specialists as surveyor to check these calculations and the operation on site, just for making sure situations like this won’t happen.
Of course, we know that in most situations this doesn’t happen. Calculations are probably ok and a surveyor seems to be only there for the nice pictures. But don’t you expect that your car is running smooth after it went to the garage? Should you agree that if your wheel ran off your car because someone forgot to check the bolds, that they would say: “no other speciliast would have seen this coming”?
If you would, what’s still the value of a specialist?