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What does a Mechanical Inspector do?

By Carol Francois
Updated Mar 02, 2024
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A mechanical inspector has three areas of responsibility: conduct safety inspections, supervise machine maintenance, and design mechanical safety tests. A mechanical inspector is typically a mechanical engineer or a licensed maintenance mechanic, who has a combination of education and experience working with production machines. The mechanical inspector works with large machines, such as those typically found in a manufacturing or production environment.

A mechanical inspector typically works for a government department, safety agency, or for the installation and maintenance company. Mechanical machine safety is a very high priority, both for the supplier of the equipment and the purchasing company. These types of machines are only used in a working environment. As such, they must meet or exceed workplace safety requirements.

People who enjoy working with their hands are mechanically inclined and naturally outgoing report the greatest satisfaction as a mechanical inspector. As a mechanical inspector, you will meet with clients, other trades professionals, and maintenance mechanics. The ability to interact with others while communicating clearly and effectively is very important. A personal commitment to safety and high standards is very important in this job.

The mechanical inspector’s primary role is one of safety. Although the details vary, most states have laws regarding the frequency of mechanical inspections, the qualification of the inspector, and the exact items that must be reviewed as part of the inspection. The purpose of this legislation is to ensure that workplaces are safe, increase the incentive for companies to properly maintain them, and reduce workplace deaths.

Many firms use certified mechanical inspectors as mechanic supervisors. Working directly for the manufacturing or maintenance firm, they are responsible for supervising the work of the maintenance staff, completing an inspection and providing advice as required. This allows the company to maintain a very high inspection pass rate and reduce down time.

Many mechanical inspectors also work with safety agencies and mechanical engineers to design new safety tests. Although there is a well developed battery of tests in Europe and North America for mechanical machines, development and acceptance have been slightly slower in the developing nations. It is important to note that any type of accident or mechanical failure with this type of equipment can result in serious injury or death.

Working with international standard agencies, these inspectors devise new tests for climates with high humidity, extremes of temperature, dirty work environments, and other challenges. This work is critical to decreasing the level of workplace injury and death in factories around the world.

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Discussion Comments

By kylee07drg — On Dec 27, 2011

My sister is really good at discerning how things work, so she always knew she would get a mechanical job someday. I find this strange, because I am not mechanically minded at all. However, she seems to be a natural at it.

She graduated from high school and went to work in a factory. Her job was maintaining the equipment, and the guy who previously held the position trained her.

Everything seemed so self-explanatory to her. Things that would have confounded me were super easy for her to understand.

She makes about $14 an hour, and I’m sure she could get a pay raise in the next year. Her knowledge and understanding are invaluable to the plant, and I know they don’t want to lose her.

By wavy58 — On Dec 26, 2011

My uncle manages a furniture factory, and he told me that he gets a visit from a mechanical inspector once a month. They have to do this to stay in operation.

My uncle has no problem with the monthly inspections. He would much rather pay to have problems fixed than pay workers’ compensation later on because of an injury that could have been prevented.

The mechanical inspector knows a vast deal more about the equipment than anyone working there. Though some workers know the basics of caring for the machinery, they could not predict a problem as well as he could.

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