Developing a Management System for Pressure Equipment Integrity Staffing and Contracting

By John Reynolds, Principal Consultant at Intertek. November 25, 2013
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Without an effective organizational strategy for pressure equipment integrity (PEI), many of the 101 essential elements of PEI can “drop between the chairs” because their may be no management systems (MS) in place to make sure that each element of PEI gets properly planned, scheduled, and completed at appropriate intervals by a responsible party. However, with an effective PEI MS in place, each site should be able to maintain pressure equipment integrity and to achieve pressure equipment reliability, both of which comprise PEI excellence.

I’ve published numerous articles in Inspectioneering Journal in the past on the management systems that comprise PEI excellence. This blog post deals with one specific management system: staffing and contacting.

An evergreen staffing plan should exist that indicates how many qualified inspectors and inspection support personnel (owner-user and contract) are required to accomplish the run-and-maintain aspects of the PEI program, as well as the special projects, peak loading and continuous improvement PEI goals for the following business cycle. The PEI staffing plan should be updated at least annually.

In this MS for PEI Staffing, there should also be a selection process for candidates for inspection jobs, be they engineering support and/or inspectors, which details the suggested criteria for any new candidate coming into an inspection position, including experience, training, skills, and personal traits that well help them succeed in the PEI job, as well as to pass the required API Inspector certifications.

Having an effective candidate selection MS can help to avoid the difficulties and expense involved with having to reassign (or terminate) a low performing inspector sometime down the road. It’s been said that the process of hiring and eventually terminating an unqualified employee and then hiring and training a qualified employee to replace him can consume up to 3 times his annual salary.

Another aspect of the PEI Staffing MS will be having a list of owner-user expectations and requirements of all contract PEI staff, including API Certified Inspectors as well as qualified NDE technicians.

Does your PEI staffing MS cause you to hire the most competent PEI personnel and do they meet your highest expectations and requirements?

By the way, if you're interested in reading more about this management system, as well as the many other components of a robust pressure equipment integrity management program, be sure to read The 101 Essential Elements in a Pressure Equipment Integrity Management Program. It doesn't cost anything.

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