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The value of engineering inspections

At a glance

  • An ongoing maintenance programme can not only save time and money, but also prevent injury
  • Active intervention can reduce the frequency of finding defective machinery
  • Zurich Engineering provides an in-depth and specialised service

The catastrophic injuries suffered by Clive Dainty and the fine meted out last month to Filtration Service Engineering, where he was working when a vessel he was pressure testing exploded resulting in the loss of both his legs, are an unwelcome reminder of the need for robust engineering inspections.

An expertise-led approach to inspections will put a focus on highlighting signs of deterioration or wear, rather than just identifying out-and-out defects. This means clients can prevent potential problems developing, better manage their ongoing maintenance programme and actively reduce the number of defects they ever have to deal with.

Engineering inspectors can also offer expertise and guidance to ensure the required standards are being applied properly.

In one example, a construction client found a high percentage of its chain blocks were being rejected as sub standard, forcing the firm to buy new chains. The high rejection rate prompted the company to seek advice from Zurich Engineering and it ultimately discovered the rejection criteria were too harsh. In this case alone, the client saved an estimated £100,000.

Attention to detail

Not only does such active intervention save money, but it also prevents injury. Where machinery is defective, even small issues can lead to catastrophic injuries or fatalities and this is why attention to detail is so important.

Zurich Engineering has built its business on long-term relationships, enabling inspectors to really understand clients in-depth. It also has the scale required to manage all of a client’s sites from inspecting wind farms in the North Sea to travelling throughout Europe and beyond.

For clients, this means working with inspectors that understand the history of their business and its machinery and ensures they only have to go through one due diligence process when appointing their inspectorate. In turn, this creates a consistency of inspection standards across their entire operation.

Miles Gardner explains how Zurich can help customers with engineering health and safety concerns.

Zurich Engineering only recruits engineers with at least a Higher National Certificate qualification and who have between 5 and 10 years’ experience. These recruits then go through 14 to 16 weeks of training to develop their knowledge, experience and to provide them with the field skills they need to operate effectively.

The soft skills required can often be underestimated and an ability to handle situations sympathetically makes a real difference. Where, for example, an inspector has to tell a client their boiler is defective and needs to be shut down, doing so in a measured way and providing them with all of the support and guidance needed makes a significant difference to the client’s experience.

Zurich Engineering is accredited by the United Kingdom Accreditation Service as a Type A inspection body and is doing a lot of work to ensure the training it provides sits within the Qualifications and Credit Framework, ensuring inspectors reach a consistent national standard.

Benefits of Crimson

In addition to the quality of its people, Zurich Engineering also offers inspection data in a convenient and secure format. Its Crimson reporting platform provides online access to reports, which can be viewed and emailed in PDF format at the touch of a button.

Tiered access ensures reports are seen by the right people and brokers can use the tool to ensure client maintenance programmes are up to date, and to provide reminders where needed. This helps brokers take a proactive role in managing their client’s risk and adds real value to the relationship.

For clients, using Crimson enables them to view all of their inspection reports in a single place and to get a detailed understanding of their maintenance needs at an organisational level.

This makes it possible to manage the maintenance programme more efficiently and also ensures individual sites can learn from each other’s performance.

Over the last 80 years, Zurich Engineering has established itself as a leader in the inspection market. It will be working just as hard for the next 80 years to ensure brokers and their clients continue to benefit from its expertise and service-based approach.

Image © Getty

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