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Working at height is commonly defined in many countries as falling more than 2m. Why?

For more than 2 metres, it is commonly defined as high level fall in which most injuries are resulted from. However, there is an increasing trend that there has been similar number of injuries from low level falls (i.e. less than 2 metres) and from high level falls. As such, some countries have deleted the “2 metre rule” as the definition of falling at height. Instead, it is newly defined as working at a place from which a person could be injured by falling from it, regardless of whether it is above, at or below ground level without stating the level of fall.

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This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

How does safety helmet function?

The main principle of safety helmet is to protect workers against impact by falling objects or struck by swinging object by energy absorption. Upon hitting by an object, the helmet dissipates some of the energy in the following mechanisms:

(i) Stretching of harness inside the helmet;
(ii) Partial damage of outer shell of helmet.

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The remaining energy is then evenly spread around the head to reduce the hitting stress on worker’s head.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

What is the difference between sureties and security?

In construction contracts, if a contractor fails to perform the works, the employer would suffer from severe financial loss and therefore some forms of protection has to be established in the contract.

For surety bond, the contractor obtains a guarantee from a third party i.e. a bank or an insurance company, which in return for a fee, agrees to undertake the financial responsibility for the performance of contractor’s obligations. This third party will pay to the employer in case there is a contractor’s default.

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For security, a sum of money is deposited in the employer’s account and upon satisfactory fulfillment of contractor’s obligations, the sum will be released to the contractor.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

Should design life be the same as return period for design conditions?

Design life means the minimum duration a structure is expected to last. The longer is the design life; the higher is the cost of a project. Therefore, in choosing the design life for a structure, engineers should consider the design life which generates a economical project without sacrificing the required function.

In selection of return period of certain design conditions, winds, waves, etc., one should consider the consequences of exceedance. In fact, there are normally no extreme maximum values of these design conditions and its selection is based on the probability of exceedance which is related to return period.

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Therefore, design life may not be equal to return period of design conditions because their selections are based on different considerations.

This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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Is the procurement of third party insurance necessary to be incorporated in contract for construction works?

The purpose of third party insurance is to protect contractors from bankruptcy in case there are severe accidents happened to the third party due to the construction work. Therefore, in government contracts, contractors are requested contractually to procure third party insurance from the commencement of contract until the end of Maintenance Period. If contractors have the financial capability to handle the claims due to accidents to third party, the client is not bound to include this requirement in the contract.

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This question is taken from book named – A Self Learning Manual – Mastering Different Fields of Civil Engineering Works (VC-Q-A-Method) by Vincent T. H. CHU.

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