In our industry, much the same as in any other, preparation is always the first step. Yet many technicians fail to understand that preparation is an integral part of the job, just as they conveniently forget that a job is not complete until a signed report is issued. We assign an extremely high priority to getting a job done, but we tend to only concentrate on the physical aspect of the inspection. How often does one find technicians on the job without a ruler, tape measure, marker pen, extension cord, or even a shortage of consumables? The result of this is often a direct compromise. Indication measurements are “guestimated” important information is not noted down etc.

This leads me to a story of a technician that was doing call out work. Skipping the planning phase he did, as many do, and went directly to the client to get the job done. Arriving on the scene he realises that the customer requires MPI on the component. Lo and behold the consumable supply stored in his boot only has one can of white background that has already been partially used. A short time later and the spray can undoubtedly started to cough and hiss. A combination of ingenuity and flawed logic equaled one recipe for disaster. The technician’s epiphany was to use PT Developer as a replacement for contrast paint. You can only imagine the mess created when the black ink was applied. The shortcut taken to try and save some time turned out to be the culprit of a long hard & unproductive day’s work. Not only did the technician have to leave the factory and collect more consumables but he also had to clean up the mess he created.

The moral of the story being that the 5 minutes taken to plan a day’s work would have undoubtedly saved a few hours of frustration. So, let’s learn from the mistakes of others and make life easier for ourselves. As the old woodworking adage goes, measure twice, cut once.

Abdur Mahomed (ANDTC)