After-The-Fact Welding Investigation

Welding Contractor Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the owner or as the owners’ representative, the contractor, to schedule inspections during the progress of construction. After-the-fact welding inspection cannot result in a thorough and highly effective visual examination and consequently has changed the definition of inspection to an investigation. Structural welding, which has taken place without inspection, or has not been scheduled, warrants a more extensive check of the completed welds by non-destructive examination.

Special inspections are required by code and are in addition to the site visit inspections from the City. If the contractors miss the special inspections it will lead to their project not receiving the final sign off from the city for occupancy. Some contractors are un-knowing, some are unwilling to call for structural special inspection and continue with construction when it gets closer to getting this certificate of occupancy. California of building code chapter 17 requires engineers to provide a table or list of special inspections required in the plans and whether it is a periodic or continuous inspection.

The most common missed welding special inspections by contractors are:

1) Fit-up, tack, weld filler metal, mill certs, weld locations, the welder, the welding procedure have not been verified as the welds have been completed without 3rd party special inspection.

2) Off-site welding fabrication shop, city of San Diego approved i.e. Welders and process qualified by a certified welding inspector who has the city of San Diego welding inspector S1 card

3) Off-site welding application not filled out and submitted to the city of San Diego.

Welding Inspector Responsibility

It is the responsibility of the inspector to keep the certification, city-approved inspection cards and eye exams current. The status of the welding inspector AWS-CWI can be verified online at AWS Certification Quikcheck:

Input: Certification Number and Last Name.

The AWS-CWI certification number for Metzger is 15121411

The City of San Diego approval number is 1142

Inspector Attributes

Physical condition. Regarding the project site, the ability to get to the welding work while complying with safety regulations. Obviously good vision.

Technical Ability. Knowledge of welding, equipment and related processes, drawings, weld symbols, codes, and specifications. Effectively express ideas or inspection findings. Establish hold points for inspection.

Ethical. Provide welding inspection in a conscientious and impartial manner. The welding inspector is obligated to preserve the health and well being of the public. Be completely objective, thorough and factual in any written report.

Personal. Ultimately the goal of the welding inspector is to assure that the welding has been done properly, rather than to try and find something wrong. However, sometimes pointing directly to what is wrong for a welding repair while there is access is faster and more productive than to ignore what is wrong by pointing out everything which is right.