American Welding Society Forum
A couple questions if I may
What would be considered proper etiquette when obvious discrepancy is found while performing visual inspection of welds previously inspected by another lab?
What actions should be taken by the onsite cwi when obvious discrepancy is noticed on structural members shop inspected by another lab?
Is there an accepted or recognized procedure to follow when obvious dereliction of duty is discovered from another lab?
Red spray paint would be the obvious method of identifying the nonconforming materials.
Been there myself on more than one occasion. On one project I was called in to help with UT. The technician was buried and couldn't keep up. Long story short, I retested a column line that had already been tested. I rejected every weld and marked them as such. Meanwhile to original UT tech came along and said all the connections had been tested and accepted. To say he was upset would be an understatement. He insisted the connections were acceptable. I asked him if he saw any signals on his screen. He said the screen was as clear as a whistle. The short version of the story was that his cable was broken. The only signal on his screen was the initial pulse!
I've also been retained by a couple of municipalities to reinspect steel that had been inspected by other labs. The building officials didn't feel the inspectors were doing their job. On one occasion the concern was well founded. The State's Attorney General was involved and the laboratory's owners and on-site inspector were let's say "sanctioned." On another occasion the lab did a fine job of inspection. There were no major deficiencies discovered and the lab vindicated.
I try to keep my reports objective and never include a personal opinion. I let the facts speak for themselves. The client can make their own determination whether to other inspector was doing a proper job or not.
Best regards - Al
Funny you should mention red paint as that's what I use, red and green paint markers. It's as bilingual as I can get.
Thanks for the response. I keep my personal opinions to myself, always take pictures, and reference code, detail, etc in my reports.
It is just plain normal that one inspector will see things another inspector missed. On occasion I can even find something on a member that I missed the first time, go figure.
And, while we should all be doing our best to catch all discontinuities, everyone will have items that are 'pet peeves' and get caught most while other items get missed more often.
We must be careful about copping attitudes and expressing a better than thou complex just because we find things others missed. Periodic inspections often bring this about because the shop kicks lots of work through that the inspector didn't see. Continuous inspections are so much easier from an inspection quality standpoint.
Be honest in the evaluation. Are the items 'borderline' to where one inspector may insist they were acceptable while the next one says they are rejectable? Undersized weld? Are you certain and is it enough to report? Porosity? Sizes total a rejectable amount? Undercut? Etc.
Then, realize the responsibility of the TPI: Observe and Report. So, if you found items that concern you:
1) take many and accurate measurements and record them in your personal notes and on your report- WITH PICTURES!
2) make sure you are referencing the correct code and the Contract Documents and quote the areas that would lead to rejection of the welds in question.
3) Watch the language usage and report accurately and unbiased.
4) Show a field general foreman or other person with authority, even the engineer if possible.
It is now in the hands of the Local Building Authority and the EOR. You did your job the way it is to be done, reported your observations. It is up to them to accept or reject based upon your report and their determination of suitability of the members as is.
I pointed some items out to the Job Superintendent once and he put some people on it right away. The work from the shop was way out of line and he didn't want it to get covered up or missed as personnel moved to other areas of the job.
He Is In Control, Have a Great Day, Brent
In my response the term "discrepancy" was used to indicate a difference between my findings and the other inspector's findings. When my UT examination indicated the CJP groove welds contained unacceptable discontinuities, but the other inspector said he found no discontinuities, that is a discrepancy. It is the Engineer's responsibility to determine whether a repair was required or the welds could be left "as is."
When I determined the weld size was 1/8 inch less than the size specified by the drawings and the other inspector's report indicated the welds were acceptable, that is a discrepancy. Again, it is the Engineer's responsibility to accept the welds as they were or to require the weld size be increased.
My report did not indicate the other inspector was wrong, incompetent, or otherwise lacking. The reader, comparing the two reports, was free to form their own opinion.
Best regards - Al
My response was addressing the context of the OP. Discrepancy in VT. The word discrepancy means nothing. Was a 'reject' found that was not found prior. That is the question.
"Discrepancy" indicates that there's a difference between the work I observed and the project requirements, specifications, approved drawings.
Are you inspecting the inspector, or inspecting the work? If the work is non conforming, it don't matter who inspected it before; it's NC
I agree 110%. It doesn't matter who looked at it or how many times it was looked at. I was
BTW - "Are you inspecting the inspector" really? Don't think I even remotely suggested that was the case
HHMMM? To me, the question was more of: were you QC or QA? Because the bottom line of QA is that you are inspecting the inspector. Observe and Report. Make sure there is a WORKING QC Program, not just a QC payroll dept with a written manual to pacify the customer and/or codes. They miss a couple of things, not a big deal unless it happens way too often, like every piece. Are they there monitoring preheat by the welders? Are they making the welders pick up and correct undercut, overlap, undersized weld, etc before signing a part off and telling me it's ready for our final approval? Are they checking that all parts are on each member and the correct grades of steel are used and heat numbers were visible at least through fit up (some want them all the way on every little part on the bigger member)? Welder ID's on the work when applicable (not mandated by D1.1 but often by Job Specs or Fabricator QC Manual)? ETC. So, yes, we are inspecting the inspector if you are the Owner's Verification Inspector (TPI).
While I agree, when one is looking over the erection work, it doesn't matter how many times the shop work was looked at and by whom, if I spot a discontinuity that by the applicable code is rejectable I point it out to the field crew and Job Superintendent and put it on my report. If it goes a couple of days and no one does anything with it now I put it on an NCR.
Now, if the field crew is from the same company that did the shop work and just jumps right in and fixes the questionable work or if the Job Super asks them to and they chose to backcharge the shop fabricator for the repair (which I have even seen when they are the same company but they keep all parts of the job separated because it is bid and controlled that way) I make note of the repairs on the appropriate report. No need for a Non Conformance Report if it is corrected. Just noted in the daily report.
Different companies will see NC reports differently. Some want them at the end of each day on parts/work that is not complete because at that point in time it is Non-Compliant and they claim that keeps the work flow in check so everyone knows what needs to happen the next day. Personally for most jobs I believe that to be way overkill on the paperwork and takes away from time I should be on the shop floor not sitting in the office on the computer even if it is work related.
There is a correct time and place for NCR's. If the inspectors are doing their jobs and the floor production workers jump in and correct things right away then for my two tin pennies worth it isn't worth the NCR. I don't need paperwork to prove I am doing my job and things go smoother when all parties work together not against each other trying to complete the job.
Sure, we work for the Owner/Engineer not the fabricator/erector but we all still are SUPPOSED to be after the same thing, a quality and safe completed project. Making people feel like we are only there to make them look bad and stupid doesn't accomplish that goal. And many do not understand the pure purpose of the NCR and feel like you are the enemy when you fill one out. And remember, most of us DO NOT have the authority to produce a STOOP WORK ORDER. And that is different than the NCR.
As Al and others have said here repeatedly, our job is to observe and report. It is up to the EOR and/or Building Authority to stop work or demand corrections based upon our observations and reports.
I have only had a couple of jobs get to the point where I issued some pretty vocal/written NCR's that got the job stopped while everything got worked out. Then, they called a meeting of all parties and made sure things were completed per code. And the local building authority made sure everyone knew he was backing my decision 100% and there was nothing wrong with the way I had handled the situation. All taken care of within a couple of days.
He Is In Control, Have a Great Day, Brent
Thanks for the reply it's greatly appreciated.
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