Inspection Company-Employeed Testing Mechanics “Conflict of Interest”

I’m sitting here at a conference listening to a chain inspection company inspector’s op-ed on the state of the inspection industry. Highlights include TEXAS INSPECTORS BAD and MAINTENANCE CONTROL PROGRAM BAD. And then we have INSPECTION COMPANY EMPLOYING TESTING MECHANIC BAD. Cue “conflict of interest” claims.

So let’s take a look at conflict of interest here.

Scenario A:
Inspector meets with Mechanic employed by elevator contractor. Mechanic is 30 minutes late (because duh). Mechanic has no idea how to perform test. Inspector is there to critique Mechanic’s work and (usually) Mechanic will have to fix any violations Inspector writes. Mechanic is best friend of Inspector’s son. Inspector and Mechanic check “the important things” (yes, I’ve heard that as codeword for phone and emergency light). Mechanic points out non-violation and asks for a vague write-up on open-order item. Inspector and Mechanic talk about lunch and continue on in ‘good ole boy’ network bliss. Inspection may or may not happen, depending on the integrity of the Inspector.

Scenario B:
Inspector and Mechanic (employed by inspection company) arrive at location. Mechanic knows ‘test flow’ and is familiar with testing process. Mechanic has no interest in Inspector generating a clean report because it’s not a reflection of his maintenance work. Mechanic does not repair violations because, again, has no interest in giving his boss a clean report card (is also not allowed to perform repair work). Mechanic has no interest in generating non-violation open order items on report. Inspection may or may not happen, depending on the integrity of the Inspector.

Unexplained opinions of ‘conflict of interest’ always hide some sort of agenda (ie my company doesn’t hire testing mechanics, my competition does, so they’re wrong and I’m right). The real factor is the integrity of the inspector. A bad inspector will not perform inspections with EITHER a mechanic employed by a contractor OR a mechanic employed by the inspection company.

1 comment

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