Is Visual Inspection Still A Safe Method?

By DH Glabe & Associates / June 27, 2017

Technology continues to change the way we both live and work. So it's no surprise that safety and inspection tools have become sharper, more precise, and more high-tech than ever before.

Yet, though these digital advancements can prove invaluable, there is still a place for visual inspection. Not only is it still a safe method, it's an important step in the safety validation process.

Today, we're taking a closer look at this inspection procedure, and detailing how it remains a safe, viable quality control (QC) solution.

Ready to get started? Let's dig in!

Visual Inspection: The Original QC Procedure

There are now more complex and intricate tools on the market. Yet, the reality remains that visual inspection is one of the most basic and traditional QC procedures.

It's important to delve deep into an object to ensure total safety and security. Yet, by simply looking at an object, the reviewer can quickly and easily note anything that looks incorrect or flawed from the naked eye. If it doesn't meet an Acceptable Quality Level or another parameter, it can be sent back for adjustment.

This helps make the QC review process more effective and promotes stronger teamwork. Otherwise, a reviewer may be knee-deep in a resource-draining QC procedure before an issue is realized. Catching the issue at the forefront can result in a smoother and more collaborative review.

An Inexpensive and Accurate Way to Measure

If a trained and certified inspector performs a visual inspection, it can be as effective as a more elaborate non-destructive QC review. It is also incredibly simple and more cost-effective to perform.

These types of inspections require almost no equipment. There are tools that can be used to enhance visual testing examinations. These include magnifying glasses or even remote viewing computer systems. Yet, they can also be performed with no tools at all.

This means a safer review, as there is less risk of an operator injury. It also means there are little to no costs involved in the process. It's also quicker and easier to perform, saving an organization both time and money.

In the Details: The Advantage of the Human Eye

There are tools, such as a dimension inspector, that can verify if an object's dimensions and measurements are correct. This is an important part of the overall QC process, but often, important details are omitted.

What a majority of these tools fail to measure is the visual representation of the object. For instance, a cube's measurements may be accurate, but what if one of the sides is cut or damaged? Similarly, what if the final product is measured and cut correctly, but is actually a reverse image from what was originally agreed upon?

Visual inspection can notice these discrepancies, even where an intelligent machine cannot. As such, it's an important step in keeping systems (and their users) safe.  

Expert Engineering: Quality You Can Trust

As a Nationwide Leader in Structural and Construction Engineering, we know a thing or two about quality. We pride ourselves in providing top-notch services for myriad engineering needs such as concrete shoring, earth shoring, wall bracing, formwork, falsework and many other Construction Engineering Services.

If you'd like to make sure your next project is sound and secure, we'd love to help. Feel free to contact us or leave a comment below and let's build something great together!

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