In this post, we will look at various factors that could lead to inspection errors and how to avoid these mistakes.
Causes of Inspection Errors
When a quality inspector makes a mistake, it could have serious implications. The following are some common causes for inspection errors:
The term "bias" is defined as a prejudgment or predisposition. In the context of an inspector, it means that when an inspector makes a judgment about whether something is acceptable or not, they may be predisposed to accept or reject certain items based on their personal experience with them. This could lead to an incorrect assessment of the item's condition.
This one is pretty self-explanatory. When inspectors get tired, they tend to make mistakes. If an inspector has been inspecting for hours without breaks, they may begin to develop some mental block that prevents him from making good assessments.
A flinch is when an individual involuntarily reacts to stress by moving their body away from the source of the stress.
Suppose the inspectors are under pressure from the management to reduce the number of defectives. In that case, there is a good possibility that inspectors will start accepting the borderline lines that in reality should have been rejected.
Distractions happen all the time. An inspector might look around at other things while performing inspections. Or they might become distracted by something else entirely. Either way, this type of error can result in a missed defect. An inspector who is focused on the task at hand will pay better attention to what they need to do.
5. EnvironmentThe working environment (lighting, temperature, noise level and humidity etc.) has a significant impact on inspection errors.
6. Poor Time Management
When inspectors don't properly manage their time, they end up making mistakes. There is a possibility that the inspector is not allowed enough time to complete the inspection requirements.
7. Poor Communication
If the inspector is inspecting an item on behalf of a client and does not have the correct information, that will result in an inspection error. Sometimes the inspector has an obsolete drawing that they use for inspection because the client did not bother to send an updated drawing to the inspector.
In some other cases, the inspector might not have the complete list of requirements and specifications to perform the inspection.
All these are examples of poor communication leading to inspection errors.
8. Lack of knowledge/Skills
Many times, inspectors don't have the proper training to perform their jobs. If a multi-disciplinary inspection job has to be completed by a single inspector, they might not have all the skills required to perform that multi-disciplinary inspection job.
How To Prevent Inspection Mistakes
There are several ways to prevent inspection mistakes from happening. By following these tips, you'll reduce the chance of making mistakes during inspections.
Every person involved in the inspection process is expected to have a certain level of training or experience. It’s important to remember that each inspector brings different experiences, skills, and abilities to the table. Make sure that the inspector's experience is appropriate to the job being inspected.
The best way to ensure that your inspectors aren't making mistakes is to supervise them. Supervising inspectors ensures quality control and helps to prevent mistakes from occurring.
3. Equipment Calibration and Maintenance
Maintain the right tools for the job. And make sure all of your measuring and testing equipment is working correctly and are calibrated.
4. Job Rotation
The inspection could be a tedious job. It's important to rotate inspectors. This will help to avoid fatigue and boredom.
5. Written Procedures
Make sure that a written procedure is available for every inspection. These procedures should include specific instructions about how to perform the inspection. They also should specify which items must be inspected and which ones shouldn't.
Checklists are excellent for ensuring that inspectors follow the proper procedure. They provide a reminder of what needs to be done during the inspection.
Documenting what was checked and why is very important. Every step should be documented so that if something goes wrong later, you can go back through the documentation to figure out exactly what happened.
Communication between multiple parties is key to preventing mistakes from happening. Inspectors should provide a detailed report to the client with measurements taken, inspections done, documents used for inspection, pictures and other supporting documents. That way, if there was a gap between what was expected from the inspector and the inspection done could be reviewed by the client or a senior inspector.