Jim D. Wiethorn has been involved in the design, construction, and evaluation of residential, commercial and industrial buildings since 1973. His experience has included evaluation and assessment of damage and failure of all construction types and systems, in particular, crane accidents. His construction background includes involvement as a third generation general contractor in the family business, as well as Certificate of Competency as a General Contractor in Florida, by exam. Mr. Wiethorn has owned and operated cranes while working in the construction industry and has evaluated over 700 crane and rigging failures throughout the United States and abroad, as well as over 100 roof/building collapses. Currently, he serves on the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators (NCCCO), Tower Crane Committee, and Rigger Task Force Committee dealing with the testing and certification of crane operators and crane rigging. Additionally, Mr. Wiethorn is a main committee member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) B30 Committee Safety Standard for Cableways, Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Hooks, Jacks, and Slings, and also serves on the B30.3, Tower Cranes and B30.29, Self-Erecting Tower Cranes sub-committees.
Mr. Wiethorn joined Haag Engineering Co. in 1987 and has served in a myriad of construction litigation cases involving crane failures, building collapses, foundation failures, damage assessment of wind vs. wave, cost of repairs to structures, and construction defects, as well as product liability of various construction materials. Mr. Wiethorn was selected by the Bonfire Commission to chair the peer review committee dealing with the cause of the Texas A&M bonfire collapse in 1999. Mr. Wiethorn was also invited to participate in the international exchange program with the Republic of China dealing with the legal trial process in the United States through the American Bar Association. Mr. Wiethorn has authored Preserving Evidence with 3D Laser Scanning, ABA Forum Newsletter and Forensic Analysis in 3D, Point of Beginning. In July 2014, Mr. Wiethorn published, Crane Accidents, A Study of Causes and Trends to Create a Safer Work Environment, 1983-2013, which details findings of his crane accident evaluations spanning his 27 year career with Haag Engineering.
Mr. Wiethorn has been a presenter or speaker at failure and damage related conferences, as well as construction and crane safety conferences throughout the United States and abroad addressing accident analysis and reconstruction. Mr. Wiethorn is often retained to assist in litigation matters and has testified in over 220 depositions and approximately 110 trials during his career. Mr. Wiethorn is licensed in 32 states and currently serves as Chairman of Haag Engineering Co., as well as a Principal Engineer in the Houston, Texas office.