Employers place a strong emphasis on essential skills in the workplace. Essential skills are used in nearly every occupation, and are seen as 'building blocks' because people build on them to learn all other skills.
Each profile contains a list of example tasks that illustrate how each of the 9 essential skill is generally performed by the majority of workers in an occupation. The estimated complexity levels for each task, between 1 (basic) and 5 (advanced), may vary based on the requirements of the workplace.
Construction inspectors inspect the construction and maintenance of new and existing buildings, bridges, highways and industrial construction to ensure that specifications and building codes are observed and monitor work site safety. They are employed by federal, provincial and municipal governments, construction companies, architectural and civil engineering consulting firms or they may be self-employed.
- Experience travel delays caused by road construction, poor weather conditions and traffic congestion. They inform home inspection customers and property owners of the delays and rearrange schedules. (1)
- Discover that buildings, structures and installations are not ready for inspections. They charge allowable fees and reschedule their inspections. (1)
- May encounter home inspection customers and property owners with whom it is difficult to communicate because of language barriers. They may use translators to communicate instructions, regulations and inspection outcomes. (2)
- May lack sufficient information to issue building permits, approve plans and sanction the use of new products. They request that property owners and contractors supply the necessary data before issuing permits, approving plans and allowing the use of new products. They inform co-workers and colleagues of the new products and their approved applications. (2)
- Classify construction projects by type. For example, building inspectors decide how to classify new buildings by considering factors such as size and type of occupancy (2)
- choose inspection methods and frequencies. For example, an electrical construction inspector may decide to check all electrical installations after numerous deficiencies are uncovered during an inspection of a sample of them. A home inspector may decide not to inspect the condition of shingles and eaves troughs due to slippery conditions on a roof. (2)
- May decide to reject building materials, permit applications, drawings, installations and construction plans that do not comply with regulations, bylaws and permit requirements. They consider the severity of deficiencies, regulatory guidelines and risks to safety, property and the environment. For example, electrical construction inspectors will reject commercial development plans that do not provide necessary protection against faults. (3)
- May choose to issue immediate disconnection requests and stop work orders due to refusals by property owners to address breached specifications, regulations and bylaws. They consider the numbers of warnings issued previously and severity of deficiencies and infractions. For example, a roadway construction inspector may decide to issue an immediate stop work order after a contractor fails to replace a defective drainage system. (3)
Job Task Planning and Organizing
Own Job Planning and Organizing
- Judge the safety of workplaces and the severity of workplace hazards. For example, a construction safety inspector considers workers' exposure to safety hazards such as slippery surfaces, protruding nails, falling objects, high tension wires and proximity to cranes and other heavy equipment. (2)
- Judge the quality of building plans, scale drawings and site layouts. They consider the legibility of drawings and the consistency of data provided. (2)
- Evaluate the safety of roadways, bridges, warehouses and other structures. They consider the adequacy of firestop measures such as fire walls, and sprinkler systems, and the locations, slopes and widths of ramps and exits. (3)
- Evaluate the quality and adequacy of buildings and building systems. They consider the robustness and adequacy of building materials, the appropriateness of construction techniques and the quality of workmanship. They also consider the severity of structural deficiencies such as cracked foundation walls and the risks posed to people, property and the environment by the use of outdated heating, plumbing and electrical systems. (3)
Construction inspectors' job planning and organizing activities vary by specialty. Self-employed residential home inspectors schedule their daily activities around appointments. Construction inspectors employed by regulatory bodies, construction companies and architectural and civil engineering consulting firms plan their schedules to accomplish work assigned by their supervisors.
Planning and Organizing for Others
Construction inspectors may organize the activities of junior inspectors.
Significant Use of Memory
- Memorize safety codes, specifications and building regulations for commercial and residential applications. They remember the content of regulations and the section numbers used to refer to particular regulations.
- Find information about buildings and building systems. For example, they locate dimensions and product specifications in manuals, product packaging, scale drawings, site plans, span and design value tables, approved material lists, contracts and from websites operated by manufacturers and regulatory bodies. They discuss building materials and methods with architects, engineers, contractors and tradespeople. (3)
Other Essential Skills:
Working with Others
Construction inspectors may co-ordinate their activities with site superintendents, property owners, home inspection customers, realtors, co-workers and colleagues. For example, building inspectors co-ordinate with construction superintendents and property owners and builders to gain access to construction sites. Home inspectors coordinate appointment times with customers and realtors to gain access to properties requiring inspections. (4)
Continuous learning is very important to construction inspectors as they are required to keep up-to-date with new building materials and amendments to safety and building codes and other relevant legislation. Learning takes place in a variety of ways. They attend off-site workshops, conferences, seminars and workshops offered by safety councils, building associations and post-secondary institutions and private trainers.
They read construction industry newsletters, magazines, textbooks, manuals, research reports and bulletins published by organizations such as the Canadian Standards Association and provincial safety codes councils. Most learning occurs on the job, through independent research and discussions with supervisors and experienced co-workers. Constructor inspectors may be required to take certification and recertification courses as conditions of employment. (2)