Thursday, January 21, 2010

That's the way we've always done it.

If someone tells me that one more time I may puke.

This story was from a fellow inspector...

One Christmas, a young girl was watching her mother prepare the ham for cooking. The mother took a sharp knife, cut off both ends of the ham,added all her other 'special' items for flavoring, put the ham in the pan and into the oven.

The girl asks, "Mother, why did you cut the ends off of the ham?" "Why, I don't know, that's the way my mother always did it."

Later, when all the family was together for the meal the mother asks "Mom,why did you cut the ends off the ham?" She says, "I can't recall, oh, Mom always did it that way." They look over to the Great Grandmother who is sitting in her seat smiling. Great Grandma says, "I had to cut the ends off because my pan was to short to fit the ham in whole."

By pure observation, a habit, a procedure, a course in history may be set for generations that has nothing to do with the finished product, science,or fact.

It's Good to be Me!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Which welds are required to be visually inspected and by who?

Ed called: “We work on Off-Road and Lifting Equipment and our welders are qualified per AWS D1.1. Which welds are required to be visually inspected and by who?”

Ed, A few documents you should consider adding to your welding library are:
• AWS D14.1- Specification for Welding Industrial & Mill Cranes & Other Material Handling Equipment,
• AWS D14.3- Specification for Welding Earthmoving, Construction & Agricultural Equipment -and-
• AWS D14.4- Specification for Welded Joints in Machinery & Equipment
These welding specifications are a little more applicable to the industry <> services.

You asked which welds are required to be visually inspected and I had to snicker… There was a time in my life when on one side of my Hard Hat was printed “AWS D1.1 Sec 6.9” I would get this question, smile, point to my Hard Hat and say, “Look it up!”

AWS D1.1 keeps it simple, Clause 6.9 – Visual Inspection, “All welds shall be visually inspected…” Section 10.6 of D14.1 is similar, “All welds shall be visually examined.” That doesn’t leave a lot of “wiggle room”. A qualified inspector needs to visually inspect all welds.

As to who the qualified inspector is, I told you over the phone that a Certified Welding Inspector (CWI) isn’t required. Welding codes and standards typically accept the qualifications of a CWI but they don’t require certification. AWS D1.1 and D14.1 require inspectors to be qualified and that the bases for qualification are documented. In addition, D1.1 requires a regular eye exam.

As long as <> writes a qualification procedure for your inspectors, the inspectors conform to Para: (1), (2) or (3) [see D1.1 Para: or D14.1 Para: 10.1.3] and <> maintains documentation that those inspectors meet the qualification requirements, visual weld inspection can be handled internally.

A great document to use as a guide for developing your Weld Inspector Qualification Procedure is AWS B5.1 – Specification for the Qualification of Welding Inspectors ( This is a free download made available by the American Welding Society at

As for what I had printed on the other side of my Hard Hat… “AWS D1.1 Sec 3.1, 2nd Sentence”. Look it up! But that’s a whole other column.

"It's Good to be Me."