Bluegrass Business Law

November 15, 2006

ENGINEERS: Avoiding “Plan Stamping”

Filed under: Construction Law — Michael W. Troutman @ 5:55 pm

“Plan Stamping” is the illegal and unethical use of a licensed engineer stamp to certify plans.  In
Kentucky, where there is only one stamp among all of the various disciplines, the opportunity for abuse is even greater.  Not only can an engineer use his stamp to certify plans not done by him, he can use it to approve plans outside his discipline. 

KRS 322.340 addresses the use of a stamp.  It specifically refers to the Kentucky Administrative Regulations for directions on how it is to be used.  Subsection 4 specifically states that a stamp and signature shall be used by licensees only if the work being stamped was under the licensee’s complete direction and control.  Subsection 7 addresses working with any engineer not licensed to practice in KY and states that the KY engineer shall check and have complete dominion and control of the design and engineering work which shall include possession of construction documents with all supporting calculations, indicating all changes in the design.  In order to properly stamp plans prepared by an employee, the engineer must exercise “ direct supervisory control.” as defined by the regulations.  If certifying another engineers work, he must comply with specific requirements in the Administrative Regulations. 

Violations of these statutes can result in criminal prosecution and loss or suspension of license.


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