Lack of Certifications: The Spookiest Thing You’ll Hear This October
Picture this, a potential customer requests us to come to their facility to bid a welding job. When we arrive, our team reviews the specs with the project manager and checks out the area or piece of equipment in question. We review all the requirements at hand, and send in our bid. Unfortunately, we do not win this bid, only to find out later we were the higher bidder. Mr. Customer decides to award the job to a different contractor. Fast forward a few months, we are called to an emergency shutdown, after hours, to repair a ruptured process line that has leaked material everywhere.
Over our 45 years in the industry, we have encountered this situation or something similar far too often. We find the biggest culprit tends to be the lack of training, AWS certifications and skills initially required to do the job. The lack of training and certification often wins bids due to lower cost, but ultimately leads to costly shutdowns, production downtime and safety issues.
Why Should You Care?
So why do American Welding Society (AWS) certifications matter to you and your facility? To start, certified AWS welders are your front line when it comes to structural integrity and safety. If not done properly it will have major implications for your company from safety concerns to shutdowns for your plant. Making sure your welders are certified is critical to your production processes.
Second, one certification does not fit all. Depending on the job at hand, it’s important to find the right welders to do said job. Just because they have worked on other projects within your facility does not mean they are qualified to do the task at hand. Lack of certifications can once again lead to safety risks and low production. So next time, make sure to ask for their certifications and past experience. Your insurance company will thank you too! And for those who are self-insured your bottom line will be doing cartwheels.
Finally, it’s important to hold your vendors to high standards. Would you select the cheaper doctor, knowing they did not complete their continuing education courses in medical updates? So why would you select a vendor who is not continuously educating and re-certifying their team on the latest AWS welding changes in technique and safety? There is an old saying that we live by at Machinery Maintenance, On Site Repair and Valley Fabrication: The job triangle has three sides, good, cheap and fast. Pick any two. Good service, cheap, will not be fast. Good service, fast, will not be cheap. Fast service, cheap, will not be good. We will always focus on the good service options. That includes giving our customers peace of mind knowing all our welders are certified and the job will be done right, the first time.
What We Do to Help
As you can see, we put a large emphasis on giving our customers the most qualified individuals for their project at hand. So, what better way to do this than go through the American Welding Society’s (AWS) facility accreditation? Today, we have an in-house, accredited AWS training facility at our employees’ fingertips. This has been a huge advantage to both our employees and customers. Our employees are able to train continuously, ask best practice questions and confirm processes for specific welds, material, etc. in real-time. Many of our customers will also take advantage of the facility and send their employees for certification and training.