In a failure analysis consulting engineering practice one sees a variety of structural failures from which observations may be made concerning geriatric structures. Representative experience with power plants, refineries, offshore structures, and forensic investigations is summarized and generic observations are made regarding the maintenance of fitness for purpose of structures. Although it is important to optimize the engineering design for a range of operational and environmental variables, it is essential that fabrication and inspection controls exist along with common sense based ongoing monitoring and operations procedures.

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