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Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / CWI field inspector....
- - By SWN1158 (***) Date 11-06-2018 13:57
I'm in quality control at the company I work for. They were using a CWI to do welder certs. He was having the welders do a multi pass fillet test to certify them. I know that a WPS is needed for a multi pass fillets, but not for individual welder certs. We stopped using this CWI, which reduced his income. He has been a third party field inspector on two of our recent projects and has rejected countless shop welds. He was on site to inspect field welds, but he made it a point to look at the shop welds and mark them up for repair, stating that they didn't meet the code, even though they met AWS D1.1 visual acceptance criteria. These "rejections" were included in the reports he submitted to the EOR, which is damaging to our reputation for producing a quality product. We feel that he's trying to get back at us because we stopped using him, and, he's attempting to increase the amount of time he spends on these job sites, which in turn, puts more money in his pocket. I want to report him to the AWS, but I feel like this would only add fuel to the fire, and motivate him to mark up even more than he's already marking up for repairs. I always do my best to make sure that our workmanship meets the applicable code requirements, and I never reject anything that meets them. There have been welds from time to time that I didn't necessarily like the way they looked, but if they met visual acceptance criteria, I ok'd them. Upper management told our field guys to repair the shop welds on both projects, even though they met D1.1 visual criteria, which subsequently reinforced his reasons for rejecting them. There's no telling what he'll find on the next project as third party inspector, but I think that we've given him the green light, so to speak, to reject whatever he feels like rejecting. I know that this sort of thing is addressed in the AWS QC1 manual. I can't help but wonder if he does this same thing to other fabricators. I would like to confront him face to face and defend the company, but all that will do is motivate him to look at, and reject more welds. I'm not a CWI, but I've been in the structural steel fabrication industry for 41 years, and I know the code. Any thoughts and comments are greatly appreciated.
Parent - - By Steelslinger (**) Date 11-06-2018 21:28
Who hired him as the third party? Notify them of the potential conflict of interest. You can also talk to the owner about his scope of work and get it clarified what he is authorized to inspect.
Parent - By Tyrone (***) Date 11-07-2018 12:47
Agreed, talk to the owner about his scope.  The company should have called him out on inspecting shop welds and made him re-write his report.  (Do not challenge his non-conformances).

You may see an increase in non-conformances in field welds.  That is where you start challenging his calls.

Parent - - By jwright650 (*****) Date 11-07-2018 14:50
As a 3rd party, I try my best to stay within my scope of work.....unless I see something dangerous or something that is consistently troubling. Many times the shop work has already been inspected by another inspector, so I don't want to get into one of those inspection matches.
I really hope this guy isn't rejecting work just to be hard to get along with as that puts a bad light on all of us out there trying to do our job the best we can and to stick to black and white calls out in the field.
Parent - By SWN1158 (***) Date 11-08-2018 16:16
Good advice. Thanks to all.
Parent - - By pipewelder_1999 (****) Date 11-16-2018 12:55
Regardless of conflict of interest issues, an acceptable weld is an acceptable weld. Should I notice one on steel being erected or any other product that is owned by the company that hired me, I will make someone aware of it.

Should that item be somehow attached to me, I must make that clear to whomever I report it to (which should be the organization that hired me)

The steel fabrication and erection industry is full of extremes on both sides. I see AISC fabricated steel with slag still on the welds and I see "mom and pop" shop items that look like they were done by a machine!

If items "comply", they comply. If they do not, they do not!

The issue of "conflict" is stated like this in QC1

11.4.1 The SCWI, CWI, or CAWI shall avoid a conflict of interest with the employer or client and shall disclose any business association, or circumstance that might be so considered.

Note that the word "Shall" is used. It is not optional.

The method by which the disclosure is made is not addressed. It could be verbal, phone call, email or in a report. So it is possible the inspector has complied with QC1.

It has been my experience that the majority of erected steel that I have inspected in my region has numerous conditions that do not "meet the code" and when I document issues that do not comply with the code, the erector or fabricator indicates that it's my issue.

My very 1st "special inspection" contained a statement similar to "...the last guy just looked for the burnt paint under the bar joists...".  That statement was made after asking for a ladder to gain access.

If you're interested, here is some more "opinion" I have on the subject of inspecting steel and within this article there is another related link.

I have been in the welding industry for about 38 years and I can say that the most difficult industry to work with as far as quality and code compliance goes has been the structural steel erection industry.

I have worked both sides and actually got into inspection because of inspectors making up their own rules. I would challenge anyone that has held someone to something not specified. Unfortunately, the norm is not what is specified but what has been accepted in the past.

If there is an issue with your organization's welds, then focus on that. If an inspector is marking up things that he or she sees that are NOT related to what the code says, then focus on that. A report addressing documented conditions that counters what an inspector noted that contains code references and pictures can go a long way.

If I walk by a rejectable weld on a project, I should let someone know. How I do that and the amount of detail needs to be carefully thought out. Since 100% visual inspection may not be required by the special inspector, then only the fabricator and erector are responsible.

Sometimes reputations vary among the peer group. A great steel erector may look one way to a purchasing agent or engineer and yet another way to someone with up-close access to product.

Those are my thoughts but based solely upon my very limited experience in the wide ranging world of welding.

Have a great day.
Parent - By SWN1158 (***) Date 11-16-2018 14:02
Thank you Gerald.
Up Topic Welding Industry / Inspection & Qualification / CWI field inspector....

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