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Pipeline Inspection Checklists

Safeguard your pipelines from corrosion and its costs using a mobile inspection tool.

Published 27 Aug 2021

What is a Pipeline Inspection?

A pipeline inspection is conducted by pipeline engineers as part of overall preventive maintenance to verify the integrity of a pipeline system and reduce the risks of leaks, pressure surges, and corrosion. Pipeline operators should empower frontline workers to perform routine pipeline inspections with mobile-ready tools for triggered alerts to the right people when potential issues arise.

This article features the following:

What is a Pipeline Corrosion Inspection Report?

A pipeline corrosion inspection report is a comprehensive document used by area managers to anticipate corrosion-related problems and mitigate their consequences, such as disruptions in power, transportation, and infrastructure. Automatically generating and submitting pipeline corrosion inspection reports helps site supervisors control corrosion immediately and minimize costs.

The Pipeline Inspection Four-step Process

In a report filed by Energy Transfer Partners with the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration last July, corrosion ruptured a 30-inch diameter steel pipe near Missouri Highway 15. The pipeline eventually exploded and incurred a total incident cost of $1.4 million. Global pipeline operators can prevent similar incidents from occurring through corrosion risk management and following the pipeline external corrosion direct assessment methodology developed by the National Association of Corrosion Engineers (NACE International) below:

  • Step 1: Pre-assessment

    Pipeline operators should collect historic and current data such as construction records, operation and maintenance histories, and corrosion control procedures to analyze which indirect inspection tools should be used. Select indirect inspection tools such as close-interval survey (CIS), current voltage gradient (ACDVG/DCVG) survey, and/or AC current attenuation survey based on the ability to detect corrosion activity.

  • Step 2: Indirect Inspection

    This step covers above-ground inspections and/or inspection from the ground surface to determine the severity of coating faults and other areas where corrosion activity may have occurred or may be occurring. Use two or more indirect inspection tools to provide improved detection reliability, especially for identifying atmospheric corrosion.

  • Step 3: Direct Examination

    Integrate the pre-assessment data with the indirect inspection results to determine the segments for pipe surface evaluations and excavations for underground pipes. Inspectors should assess the impact of external corrosion on the pipeline, including its coating performance, corrosion defect repairs, and mitigation of corrosion protection faults.

    After collecting more data to assess corrosion activity, apply the following prioritization requirements accordingly:

    • Immediate Action Required – address all multiple severe corrosion indications in close proximity and isolated moderate corrosion indications in a region during the direct examination
    • Scheduled Action Required – address all remaining moderate corrosion indications and groups of minor corrosion indications in a region during reassessments
    • Suitable for Monitoring – inactive corrosion indications or any indications that have the lowest likelihood of ongoing or prior corrosion activity
  • Step 4: Post-assessment

    Pipeline operators should define reassessment intervals and evaluate the overall effectiveness of the pipeline inspection four-step process. Perform direct examinations as needed and proactively seek continuous improvement opportunities for mitigative measures against pipeline corrosion.

How to Perform a Pipeline Inspection Efficiently

Collecting, organizing, and managing paper-based pipeline corrosion inspection reports consume too much time, energy, and space. Three resources that can be utilized better by downloading iAuditor by SafetyCulture, the world’s most powerful mobile inspection app. Used for more than 50 million inspections in over 80 countries, iAuditor has been revolutionizing safety and quality for a variety of industries with its versatile features and user-friendly interface. With iAuditor, you can do the following:

  • Download ready-to-use pipeline inspection checklists or easily create and customize your own via Smart Forms. Use for free with small teams.
  • Perform pipeline inspections on your mobile phone or tablet anytime, anywhere, even if you’re offline. Your data will automatically sync to the cloud once you connect to the internet.
  • Take photos of the pipeline’s poor-quality segments and annotate them for added clarity. Assign corrective actions to immediately address the problem. Set the time, date, and priority level to triage tasks.
  • Automatically generate pipeline inspection reports after completing your maintenance checks and easily deliver them to your site supervisor and co-workers with the tap of a finger.
  • Track inspection frequency and performance via data analytics and gain actionable insights to improve pipeline operations. Unlimited storage and integrations for premium accounts.

How to Use iAuditor to Streamline Pipe Maintenance

Pipelines are integral to the operation of commercial, industrial, and even residential establishments. A damaged pipeline can severely affect the functionality of an establishment or, worse, force a full-stop to productivity. Considering the possible consequences, the thorough examination and proper maintenance of pipelines should not be taken lightly.

By using the iAuditor pipeline inspection software, pipeline engineers and safety inspectors can benefit from intuitive smartforms to maximize audit efficiency, streamline data collection, and improve team collaboration to ensure the effective maintenance of pipeline systems

Here are some tips on how to use iAuditor to optimize your pipeline inspection process:

Download, customize, and create intuitive pipe inspection templates

Our public library has over 100,000 pre-made inspection templates where pipeline maintenance personnel can download ready-to-use inspection templates from industry professionals. You can also convert your existing paper templates via smartscan or create a new one from scratch with our user-friendly, drag-and-drop template builder. Create versatile smartforms with iAuditor; no coding required.

Perform pipe inspections using your mobile device

You can use the iAuditor pipeline inspection software even if you are offline. The data you collect will automatically be saved via unlimited cloud storage upon connecting to the internet. With your smartform, you get a variety of response types, including yes/no, multiple choice, and freeform text, so you can collect the right information. Take pictures and annotate them for evidence and easy visual reference and immediately assign corrective actions to the right people mid-inspection so issues are resolved immediately.

Generate professional reports minus the hassle

Upon completing your pipeline inspection, you can generate a comprehensive report in seconds without having to manually compile your inspection data. Set up auto-share so that reports are automatically sent to the right people, saving you more time and energy. You can even hide/unhide report information to keep the focus on the most important details.

Review your inspection history via data analytics

One of iAuditor’s best features is data analytics. This feature analyzes collated inspection data and provides useful insight, such as frequently failing items, that can help you spot trends and identify patterns that may uncover the root cause of issues.

Track assigned inspections and corrective actions to ensure that everything is covered

Ensure accountability by having a pipeline inspection software that allows you to track the status of assigned inspections and corrective actions anytime, anywhere. Put mandatory answer fields in inspection templates and require digital signatures to ensure that inspections are done according to protocol.

iAuditor’s pipeline inspection software optimizes pipeline inspection processes in a number of ways. From easy smartform customization to automated reporting, iAuditor’s versatile mobile solution simply makes pipeline maintenance faster and easier.

iAuditor as Pipeline Inspection Software

A pipeline inspection software is used by pipeline engineers to assist them in periodic pipeline maintenance inspections. Pipeline maintenance inspections help ensure that pipelines are free from corrosion, leaks, and other types of damage that could endanger workers and negatively affect operations.

With the iAuditor Pipeline Inspection Software, pipeline engineers and safety officers can use digital smartforms instead of manual pen-and-paper checklists to make inspection and reporting easier than ever. Use iAuditor’s versatile software to streamline your pipeline maintenance process:

  • Digital pipeline inspection templates to reduce paper clutter

    Traditional pen-and-paper checklists can be burdensome. Paper inspection records easily pile up and manually sorting, organizing, and filing them demand both time and space that can otherwise be used for more productive work. iAuditor by SafetyCulture provides pipeline engineers and inspectors with easy-to-use digital inspection templates to reduce paper clutter so they can spend more time ensuring pipeline safety.

  • Easy access to inspection records in one secure location

    Paper records can get lost, damaged, or accessed by unauthorized personnel. iAuditor’s digital platform automatically stores data via secure cloud technology so information is kept safe and accessible only to the right people. Cloud technology allows authorized personnel to access inspection history and statistics from practically anywhere as long as their device is connected to the internet.

  • Communicate in-app to resolve issues faster

    iAuditor’s corrective actions feature gives pipeline engineers and inspectors the power to assign corrective actions on the go so issues are resolved sooner rather than later. By assigning an action and setting an appropriate priority level, repair and maintenance personnel can easily triage so the most urgent problems can be addressed first.

SafetyCulture Content Specialist

Shine Colcol

Shine Colcol is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2019, mostly covering topics about health and safety, environmental, and operations management. She is passionate in empowering teams to build a culture of continuous improvement through well-researched and engaging content. Her experience in cross-industry digital publishing help enrich the quality of information in her articles.

Shine Colcol is a content writer and researcher for SafetyCulture since 2019, mostly covering topics about health and safety, environmental, and operations management. She is passionate in empowering teams to build a culture of continuous improvement through well-researched and engaging content. Her experience in cross-industry digital publishing help enrich the quality of information in her articles.