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NTSB Findings for MA Gas Explosions

Ironman Member Posts: 7,223
edited November 2018 in THE MAIN WALL
Bob Boan
You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.


  • ratio
    ratio Member Posts: 3,544
    Guh. As much as I rail against engineers, that poor guy is watching the train accelerate towards him this very minute. In over his head (whether or not he knew it), and no one above him checking up on things from time to time.
  • Ironman
    Ironman Member Posts: 7,223
    The thing that gets me is that WE who are this side of the meter are required to be licensed, they are not. WE could only cause damage to one structure at a time from our error, but they can do it to thousands with one goof up.

    I agree about the engineer; he'll probably be made the scape goat.
    Bob Boan
    You can choose to do what you want, but you cannot choose the consequences.
  • Jamie Hall
    Jamie Hall Member Posts: 22,147
    One thing to note in that report -- it's kind of buried -- is that in Massachusetts engineers working for the State or public utilities are not required to be licensed. Which, if I may say so as a Professional Engineer, is absurd. Or, in the vernacular, ****?
    Br. Jamie, osb
    Building superintendent/caretaker, 7200 sq. ft. historic house museum with dependencies in New England
  • http://www.wbur.org/onpoint/archive
    This archived "on point" discussion of the gas explosions was very interesting>--NBC
  • Steamhead
    Steamhead Member Posts: 16,459
    In other words- you can't fix stupid, and stupid kills people.
    All Steamed Up, Inc.
    Towson, MD, USA
    Steam, Vapor & Hot-Water Heating Specialists
    Oil & Gas Burner Service
    EBEBRATT-Ed Member Posts: 14,534
    Doesn't need to be an engineer. Anyone with a brain would do.

    Gross incompetence....nothing else you can say

    But even with all that

    Why are there not PRVs downstream from these regulators?

    I have done a lot of high pressure gas in MA and they are strict. Any change to a high pressure gas system in a building in MA requires:

    1.A complete drawing of the entire gas system (even if you only change 1 appliance and replace it with a new one with the same capacity)
    2. drawing must be stamped by a PE
    3. drawing submitted to the gas utility for approval
    4. When approved the local inspector gets it
    5. If all is good you get your permit

    And RECENTLY CHANGED within the last few years you used to have to send the stamped drawing to the state plumbing board for approval. This has now been re cinded.

    We used to wait months to get the drawings back from the state.... it held up too many jobs so now it just goes to the local inspector.

    So these are the hoops that MA puts us through. I doubt any other state is this strict.

    But, OH your a UTILITY??

    you can do whatever you want, including working in buildings WITHOUT a license
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,537
    Sounds to me"Field engineer" is just a title. It doesn't even mean he holds an engineering degree. Similar to DOT job sites that have an R.E. ( resident engineer) most are Techs given a job to run. Some have engineering degrees some do not. Those that do not usually have been there for years, and have worked their way up the ladder.

    Be assured this field engineers plans were reviewed by someone in departments presented to that should have been able to bring the proper department on board to review the plans also , in light of the field engineer not doing so.. Some where there was a disconnect above him. The NTSB just calls it as they see it from the outside looking in. That's the lack of checks, and balances.

    A PE stamp is not a definitive indicator the proper departments would have reviewed the drawings either. Most see the PE stamp as a clear cut sign as to lack of their responsibility. He's a PE I'm not he must know what he is doing I believe him.....yet they are only human also. No one person should be left to total responsibility in these types of situations.

  • Solid_Fuel_Man
    Solid_Fuel_Man Member Posts: 2,644
    Same thing with electricians and utility workers here in Maine: I must have a degree, 12,000 hours work experience, pass journeyman, and master's test, have 90 hours electrical code class, and get a 15 hour electrician code update class every 3 years.

    All that to work on this side of the meter, but the utility workers have no prerequisites etc etc etc, just safety.
    Serving Northern Maine HVAC & Controls. I burn wood, it smells good!
  • Gordy
    Gordy Member Posts: 9,537
    I have a friend who worked for exelon now retired. Years ago there was a management shake down. People were being hired from say gas companies filling management positions that knew zero about electricity. A lot of issues there now on how to run an electric utility verse gas.