A day in the life of HSB Engineer Surveyor Harry Fernandes


Authored by HSB

My day typically starts with helping my wife with breakfast, and getting stuff ready for our daughter to go to school. Then, before leaving home, I sync my work tablet to ensure all of the day's scheduled customer inspections have been downloaded, also checking the postcode of my first customer site visit of the day so I know where I'm heading.

It usually takes me around an hour to reach my first customer, which can often involve travelling through heavy traffic across the North West London area, but I can also reach some Uxbridge-based customers within 20 minutes as it's close to where I live.

For me, every day is different. Site visits can include places like hospitals, schools (including those for children with disabilities, for which I am DBS certified), care homes, heritage sites, even some of London's most famous hotels.

If I'm visiting a block of flats, for example, I arrive on site, use the provided entry codes to gain access to various parts of the building, I inspect their passenger lifts, their motor room, and then depart. An entirely different example involves a plant hire customer, where I meet with them face-to-face and provide them with a list of their equipment for which an engineering inspection is due.

Some customers ensure I have easy access to their equipment, moving items to a safe zone ready for my inspection. Not all customers are able to do this, however; having busy locations with plant moving in and out all the time, with articulated lorries travelling through the site. This means there are times when I simply need to wait until equipment is made available to me.

The types of plant I inspect are pretty varied. From mobile elevating work platforms (MEWPs) to telehandlers, passenger/goods lifts to fork lift trucks.

As well as lifting equipment (under LOLER), I also inspect pressure equipment (under PSSR); like air receivers, autoclaves and coffee boilers. On another day, I can be inspecting playground equipment – like I said, varied!

There can be numerous challenges to overcome during my site visits. Taking care homes as an example, I need to ensure that the lifts I'm inspecting are returned to service at the earliest possible time. There will occasionally be residents waiting for the lift at every landing but, as always, I only bring them back into service once my thorough examinations are fully performed.

Another example would be in the busy kitchens of large hotels. I often hear employees knocking on the doors to gain entry because they're unhappy seeing their lift is out of service. But I know that I'm checking the lift for their own safety, which they probably don’t realise! The same goes for inspecting passenger lifts in hospitals, busy places where lifts are in constant use; returning lifts to service in the shortest possible time whilst ensuring my thorough examinations are just that – thorough!

I enjoy the fact that every day's different for me. I get to inspect different equipment on a daily basis, see new technologies coming to the market, new types of customer sites which I may not have visited or experienced before. For one of our hotelier customers in particular (one which, unfortunately, I don't think I'll ever get to visit as a paying guest!), I like the fact that all of their lifts have been inspected by me and are safe to use."

How HSB can help

Inspection Services: Our network of competent, multi-skilled Engineer Surveyors help customers to maintain workplace equipment safety, optimise the efficiency of plant and equipment, and comply with applicable health and safety legislation; covering boiler/pressure, lifting, electrical/mechanical, dust and fume extraction, power press equipment, and fixed wiring (electrical).

HSB Risk Management Solutions: Consisting three engineering consultancy services to reduce risks, costs, and deliver compliance via improved analysis of businesses’ equipment, and health and safety practices. Each service is further split into modules, allowing customers to build them to fit their business.

HSB Inspection Services

HSB Risk Management Solutions


About HSB

HSB, part of Munich Re, is a leading specialist provider of engineering and technology insurance and inspection services.

Backed by over 150 years of innovation and covering a broad range of technologies and industry sectors, we help customers reduce risk through the provision of innovative construction, engineering, energy, and cyber insurance products.

Established in the U.S. in 1866, HSB’s founding principles of technical expertise and loss prevention remain at the forefront of the work we do today. Whether it’s engineering solutions for contractors, comprehensive machinery and technology insurance, innovative energy efficiency policies, or SME cyber risk covers, we have the knowledge to show customers how, working with HSB, they can stay ahead of emerging risks in a complex world.

With over 500 employees, and offices in Belfast, Birmingham, Dublin, Glasgow, London and Manchester, we provide insurance and engineering inspection services that touch almost every aspect of work and life.

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