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What are yours opinions on digital structural observations using skype, facetime, etc?
If you do the digital observation. Provide clear guidance with the GC beforehand what elements of the LFRS are need to be reviewed. Then go step by step through the observation with the GC.
Then list on the observation Due to Covid 19 and the practice of social distancing, the observation was done digitally using xxx with the following parties in attendance.... I would like to hear what my peers think would be the standard of care in these difficult times.
One of our team members had a Facetime "structural observation" yesterday and the contractor dropped his phone down a 4’ elevator pit – this was the view (See attached) for about 5 minutes while he figured out how to fishhook it out. Pretty entertaining watching a 200+ lb contractor try to squeeze down through some tight rebar. One of the PitFalls (yes, sorry, pun intended) of of remote inspections.
Kurt, You ask a good question. Leaving the SEAOSC Board member hat off my head: I too struggle with balancing the accuracy of required observations and the health and safety of my team. I also struggle with setting precedent (if we can do it now, why won't we be able to do it next year when there isn't a pandemic?)
As technology gets better and better, is there ever going to be a point where we don't have to interact with the field? Seems like the best solutions (and inspections) will always come from seeing the entire picture at once. I know I'm a dinosaur, but I still like to have a full size piece of paper in front of me rather than a 1/4 size monitor. I believe we suffer from lost context when panning left and right to see the entire drawing.
It is bad enough when I control the panning. I'm troubled by the idea of turning control of what I'm seeing over to a third party. Structural Observation isn't about seeing what is there... it is about observing the context of the field work and ensuring it conforms to the design intent and the drawings.
Seems to me that Video Structural Observations will require City and Deputy inspectors to really become (return to being) the in-the-field eyes-on parties confirming the work... while that needs to happen TOO.. I'm not sure that it is fair to put them at any more risk than ourselves.
I was happy to see that Rafael's President's message today (4/27) was focused on considerations for completing a site visit and not how to not go to the site.
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