A boilermaker is a trained tradesman, usually with a TAFE diploma/certificate having completed an apprenticeship, who produces a variety of steel fabrications from metal plates and tubes, both for internal factory and manufacturing plant use, and for wholesale or retail use. Boilermakers cut, shape, assemble and weld steel to construct and repair metal products and structures for boilers, ships, iron and steel structures and other vessels. They are experts in their craft and would be able to provide specialised knowledge relating to the process, practices, and procedures that go toward constructing and repairing metal products.

Boilermaking, welding, and fitting tubes are needed inhouse since stress fractures, leaks, rust, and corrosion create a continual need for repair or replacement, and many modern manufacturing facilities, factories, gasworks, mining operations, and power plants operate at very high pressures. While most boilermakers are employed full-time at the one premise, some contract boilermakers can be placed on an individual project such as re-fitting a boiler in a seagoing vessel or in the one-time reconditioning of an hydroelectric power station.

In small business environments, boilermakers can provide a value service in repairing steam boilers for dry cleaners and tailors.

The duties and tasks of a boilermaker:

  • Adhere to strict occupational health and safety guidelines
  • Assemble, identify faults in and repair boilers, tanks, pressure vessels and vats
  • Complete products by washing, cleaning, chiselling, grinding and filing
  • Cut, mould, twist, shape, punch and hammer metal to assemble parts and enable fitting edges together
  • Join metal sections and structures together using welding, bolting or riveting methods
  • Perform routine maintenance on tools and equipment
  • Read and evaluate drawings and blueprints to determine specific job requirements
  • Select the appropriate materials, methods, equipment, and tools necessary to complete the job
  • Use a range of machinery, hand tools and welding equipment or computer controlled machines
  • Use furnaces and forges to heat metal to the correct temperature

Boilermakers are able to provide integral evidence relating to the efficacy of certain metal products, they may also examine procedures, machinery, and practices utilised in the construction and repair of metal products. This may allow for an evaluative judgment as to whether or not accidents, damage, or faults occurred by way of an individual worker, a business’s failed safety policy, or other external factors. This evidence may be integral evidence to relevant matters.

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Expertise in Action

Experts working in boilermaking are essential in workers compensation cases regarding factory and manufacturing plant accident investigation to assess liability, damage and costs.

Experts may also be required to comment on whether correct control measures, the appropriate standard of care, and proper safety features were implemented within the factory
premises. These experts can comment on whether the factory infrastructure can be considered in line with industry standards and whether the manufactured products under dispute are dangerous, defective, fit-for-purpose, regulation-compliant, or as ordered.

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Relevant Articles Workplace OHS - Welding

Welding is considered a hazardous form of work and therefore any workplace where it is performed is considered a high risk workplace. Welding hazards include electric shock, burns, fire and explosions, radiation, heat, noise, fumes and gases. Welding in confined spaces can have other significant issues. Several successful prosecutions over recent years have identified welding as the cause of fires, burns, explosions and other outcomes. The list identifies acute and chronic health risks from welding.

Worker killed by explosion while welding

The incident happened whilst a worker was making a tractor counterweight by welding empty fuel drums to a steel frame. When the worker placed the welder to the top of a drum, there was an explosion, engulfing him.

Boilermaker undergoes operation after site accident

A construction worker has undergone surgery after his leg was crushed in a workplace accident

Relevant Cases Robertson v V & K Engineering Pty Ltd [2018] VCC 1660

An employee boilermaker suffered back injuries that he claimed precluded him from continuing his duties.

Related Blog Articles

A sample of our experts in Trades - Boilermaking

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