3 types of Inspectors and what they do

Third Party Vendor Inspector

With almost every major project there are requirements for machinery, materials, equipment and products. All of these things have to be manufactured, shipped to the right place, installed correctly and finally maintained once everything is up and running. During the manufacturing, installation and operation phases, it's crucial that quality is maintained, which is where specialist Inspectors come in.

Almost everything needs inspecting at some stage

There are a huge amount of different types of Inspector, covering everything you can think of and some things you'd never even consider.

Here we're going to look at 3 of the specialists which Brunel provides to our clients.

1) Welding Inspector
2) Painting & Coatings Inspector
3) HSE Inspector

Welding Inspector

Welding is everywhere in the modern world. Our use of metals to create everything from bicycles and cars through to oil refineries and container ships has led to the development of technology and techniques to join individual parts together.

The entire integrity of a gas pipe or the hull of an LNG tanker can be reliant on the quality of the welds which join the sections.

"A typical FPSO contains 20 km of internal safety critical welds that require detailed offshore inspection on a five-year cycle."


Making sure these crucial welds are up to the right standard is the job of a Welding Inspector.

They don't just inspect welds though, the specialist knowledge required covers many different areas; metallurgy, procedures, consumables, destructive and non-destructive testing etc.

A career as a welding inspector can take you around the world and into a huge variety of industries and projects.

Painting & Coatings Inspector

The Forth Bridge in Scotland is famous for taking so long to paint that by the time one coat has been applied, it was time to start again. 

Over and over for 120 years.

Yes, really.

This was the case until new techniques were borrowed from the offshore oil & gas industry, where preventing corrosion in the toughest environmental conditions is a high priority.

To cover the 230,000sqm of steel took 240,000 litres of specially designed glass flake epoxy paint, but eventually the job was done and the painting crew got to take a break.

Any vessel or piece of equipment that is exposed to the elements needs to have its conditions checked regularly, from the day the paint or coating is applied to the moment it is decommissioned.

This is the job that a Painting & Coatings Inspector is responsible for.

HSE Inspector

HSE Inspectors can carry a lot of weight, with legal rights to access all areas of a facility or site and stop work if something is unsafe.

Health and Safety regulations and laws in industries like Oil & Gas or Renewable Energy are very strict, with good reason.  Working on an oil refinery, or miles offshore on a windfarm can be dangerous, so the safety of the workers is the highest priority.

"2008 through 2017, 1,566 workers perished trying to extract oil and gas in America. About as many U.S. troops died fighting in Afghanistan during that period." 


There are dozens of risks which need to be assessed, such as explosions, fire, gas release or extreme weather. 

Regulations and guidelines are produced by bodies like the UK Health & Safety Executive, the American Petroleum Institute, Standards Norway (NORSOK) and the European Agency for Safety & Health at Work.

Working as a HSE Inspector will be a career where no two days are ever the same. Every new project brings something unique, whether it's the environment, the people or something else.

What connects all these people?

There are key skills which are the same across every inspection job.

- A keen eye for detail
- Organisation
- Ability to influence
- Effective communication, verbal and written
- Integrity
- Technical proficiency

Brunel looks for these things when putting together inspection teams for our clients, as well as getting to know the people and the projects they've worked on.


If your company needs third party inspection services, get in touch and we can connect you with the right specialist.


Regional Marketer - Europe & Africa
Oliver Hague
Regional Marketer for Europe & Africa