There are several misunderstandings and beliefs when it comes to the pipeline industry. Inspectors play a big role in assuring a pipeline construction project is safe and in compliance with federal regulations. Whether you’re looking for work as an inspector or your company is looking for inspectors for a project, don’t let these myths lead you don’t the wrong path.
MYTH #1 – You can exaggerate on your resume.
REALITY: The need for inspectors is growing annually and companies must have qualified inspectors on the right of way. Before Liberty Energy Services places an inspector on the right of way, we check every certification of that employee. If we find fabricated certifications, that individual gets removed from the project.
If it were any other job application, would you hire a person who lied on a resume? Many tasks such as hydrostatic testing, horizontal directional drilling and stringing all need experienced inspectors in the field to report properly and be certified accordingly. This protects the client and the inspector.
MYTH #2 – Certifications make you an expert!
REALITY: Certifications definitely help but don’t make you an expert. Be sure your certification applies to the right regulations. An inspector can have every certification required but without humility, experience and a willingness to learn, they won’t get far. In a safety culture, it is always better to admit that you don’t know something than to make costly mistakes. See myth #3.
MYTH #3 – Inspectors know 100% details when starting a project.
REALITY: While most inspectors will arrive on a project with formal training such as NACE, AWS \ CWI and CPWI certifications, others will arrive with several years’ experience in a specific task such as bending, road bores or HDDs. There may be times when a green inspector starts on a project and wants to learn. Do certifications and experience make you ready to inspect a project? It gets us close but not 100%. This is why inspection closeout meetings are important.
MYTH #4 – Inspectors don’t need training on environmental permits.
REALITY: This is a huge risk. If a contractor accidently digs up a rare animal carcass on reserved land in West Texas and it’s not addressed, it could mean major fines from the FERC. The contractor and inspector need environmental training to know how to handle such situations. This training will prevent major costs down the road.
MYTH #5 – Not all inspectors need a copy of the contract construction specifications or client construction specifications.
REALITY: Many years ago, experienced inspectors were afraid to teach younger inspectors the lay of the land out of fear – fear of having a young person swoop in and take their job. Luckily, that mentality has changed, especially now with large numbers of experienced inspectors retiring or leaving the workforce with all of that knowledge. We are now educating inspectors on each and every project. Every client has different construction specifications and requirements. This is why going by the construction or client specification is extremely important. If the contract construction specifications do not cover an issue that the client’s specifications cover, the two documents can be cross referenced. Without copies of each, the contractor could potentially miss important information.