office (814) 765-8691
fax (814) 765-8692
toll free (800) 819-1004
email: rhughes@hughesengineering.net

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What kind of information do I need to fill out for a proper report proposal? 
A: We ask that you fill out and send in a Formal Data Sheet.

Q: When a person is injured in a building, can you determine if this is a previous known hazard that has been identified within the industry as well as cited locally? 
A: Yes, all municipalities in the United States have adopted some form of a building code.  I am familiar with all these publications and can tell you immediately if some section has been violated.

Q: My client has just built a house and they are not happy with the workmanship of many of the details in the house.  Are there standards for house construction?
A: Yes, almost 100% of dwelling details are covered by some agency.  I focus on the big ugly problems first and then descend to the more insignificant details.

Q: The estate of my client thinks that the roadway geometrics, including the signage and guiderail systems were deficient at the location of the fatal accident.  Can you determine the speed of the vehicle and any details which could have contributed to my clients death?
A: Yes, there are detailed requirements for roadway configuration, maintenance, signage and safety features that have been previously established.

Q: The incident location looks largely innocuous incidental to cause a death.  Is it still a violation?
A: The codes do not weigh one section over another.  Most people are familiar with smoke detectors, safety glass and handrails.  If you believe in these items, they carry no more weight than the hundreds of unfamiliar sections of the code.

Q: What are the six most dangerous feature you encounter in people being injured in and around buildings?
A: I have conducted hundreds of injury or death investigations involving these six items; all are building code and industry standard violations.  1) Single steps in walkways, 2) Uneven floor or walking surfaces, 3) Dimensional uniformity of staircases, 4) Poor floor finish selection, 5) Parking curbs, 6) Projecting objects into walkways.  Most of these issues involve visual acuity issues.

Q: What if the site of an accident is old and predates the local codes. Do the codes still apply?
A: Unless it costs millions of dollars to remedy or is Abe Lincoln's log cabin, all codes stipulate that existing structures must not be left in a  hazardous condition.