Publications

What it Means to be an Engineer of Record

Author: Andrew Copeland
Conference: 6th International Mining and Industrial Waste Management Conference
Date: October 29-31, 2018

ABSTRACT
The term Engineer of Record (EoR) is commonly used in North America to define the responsible person for  design and construction phases of a project. For tailings storage facilities (TSF’s), an EoR is often appointed as the person technically responsible for seeing that a TSF is built according to the design. The use of this appointment has increased due to recent high profile TSF failures, and has spread to countries outside of North America, especially for mining companies that are based or listed there. Recent updates to national/international TSF guidelines suggest appointing an EoR is good practice.

TSF’s are built over many years, so the initial capital construction phase is often well supervised according to design drawings and technical specifications, but then enters a commissioning and operation phase, before reaching a closure phase. It is during these multiple year phases, where deviations from the design are possible, and often the operation is undertaken by the Mine or a third party contractor who may not always appreciate the implications of poor operation/construction. Since the EoR is not on site full time, how can he/she take on such an appointment and responsibility for anything that might go wrong? The only way this is possible is if the EoR is given greater authority. This paper discusses whether an EoR should accept the appointment, and if an EoR is appointed, what responsibilities and authority he/she should accept.

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