April 29, 2014
Q: I have a problem with the B31.3 code: It seems to be costing us jobs. Recently we were in talks with a regular customer to do some copper brazing. When we made them aware of the requirements for pressure testing, they backed out. In their words, they didn't want to "go through all that." This is not the first time this has happened.
Should we do the work anyway and allow them to waive code requirements, or do we lose the job to someone who will do it cheaper because they don't have the QC costs and don't go by the rules?
A local concrete contractor that once approached me with an opportunity to bid on a project asked me, “What would it take for us to comply with AWS D1.4 – Structural Welding Code – Reinforcing Steel?” After I laid out a plan to get him there, he just lowered his head and mumbled, “Damn!”
Remember the phrase “… to safeguard the health and well-being of the public and to maintain integrity and high standards of skills, practice, and conduct in the occupation of welding inspection … ,” found in AWS QC1 Sec. 11? That is why we became CWIs—for the people who have no clue as to what we do but trust that we’re good at it and count on us to follow through.
Codes and standards are developed by people who work in our industries and often are the result of tough lessons learned over the years (Google: The Sinking of the Sultana). When referenced in contract documents they become law, and we need to adopt the entire code into our project.
You already know the answer to your question: You play by the rules.
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