PROOF-READ! AND WATCH THOSE SUBSTITUTIONS!
“The only real mistake is the one from which we learn nothing.” -- John Powell
“Admit your errors before someone else exaggerates them.” -- Andrew V. Mason
Surrey, British Columbia - by Frank Kurz
Let me start this first Editorial of 2012 off with a couple of phrases people hear quite often.
We are all human.
We all make mistakes. It’s important to acknowledge this and not to sweat the small stuff.
In a recent Verification I performed in Surrey, I made a mistake. I can hear the collective “GASP” from across North America now! I could easily blame the software (in this case MSWord® 2007’s “find and replace” feature), but when all is said and done, I signed on the dotted line and I failed to see a minor substitution MSWord® had made right under my very nose (or in this case, my signature).
The CAN/ULC-S537-04 Appendix “C” front page I use (and which is represented on our forms page) was actually designed in Vancouver by Arkady Tsisserev when he was the City Electrician. Concurrent to the form’s original release in Vancouver, Ark also drafted the famous Vancouver Bulletin, which not only listed acceptable verification agencies, it established the criteria by which Vancouver (at least) could identify a qualified individual. Many jurisdictions in the Lower Mainland use this list as the basis for their acceptance of a technician that’s performing Verifications within their area.
Getting back to the Appendix “C” (and my mistake), there’s a small box right under the signature line which reads “The above referenced individual is designated on the list of acceptable Verification Agencies in City of Vancouver Bulletin 2003-009-EL.” What I failed to note in the form for the Surrey VI, was the substitution of “Vancouver” with “Surrey”. In one of the articles in our April (2012) Tech-News and Views, I mention the importance of double checking your work for errors. The article in Tech-News had to do with copying other people’s work, but regardless, someone had better proof what you publish (or in this case, send out).
Your reports are important documents that not only confirm the fact that you did the proper testing, they are relied upon by a number of agencies and will form an integral part of the building’s maintenance/inspections history. An error in your paperwork could quite easily red flag (and delay) the entire acceptance process for a new building (depending upon how big that mistake is and the attitude of the individual who happens to catch it).
In the Life Safety Business, it’s also extremely important to acknowledge your mistakes regardless of how small (or big) they might be, and to ensure they are corrected as quickly as possible.
As always, I welcome comments regarding any of my Editorials or articles (and on this one, I’m fully prepared to take my lumps!). Please feel free to contact me!