In the news story that heralded the woman master welder in China, it was unclear whether she had looked properly at all the various welders insurance policies on offer, but one thing was clear, Sun Binbin has achieved a milestone.
The news article made no mention of the type of welders insurance on offer to Sun Binbin, but did provide details of a warming back story.
It revealed that her grandfather was a blacksmith in Tangshan Locomotive and Rolling Stock Works. Based in Tangshan City, Hebei Province, the factory manufactured railway stock and in the early days of New China, her grandfather fashioned an iron steel bust of Chairman Mao (cast and hammered by hand) and then affixed it to the factory’s first locomotive to be built.
It’s doubtful whether the grandfather was protected by welding insurance, but Binbin was so inspired by the stories of her grandfather’s skill, that she too decided to become a metal worker and make a career in welding.
Aged 32, she is the country’s first woman master welder and following training in Germany, she now works at the same factory as her grandfather.
She gained the status of international master welder in 2008 whilst training in Germany and was considered so proficient, that she was offered a job as trainer with a company based outside of German. Her achievements are even more outstanding when considering that previously only two Chinese have reached the coveted position of Welding Master, a certificate which is issued by the German Welding Society. It is this rank that allows the holder to teach other welding students.
Although she works in the same factory as her grandfather, it is now called the Tangshan Railway Vehicle Co which is part of CNR Corp Ltd, a major manufacturer of locomotives.
She told the China Daily newspaper:
“It was destiny. Even the certificate examination committee in Germany said it is rare for a woman to pass the strict test. When I first met my foreign teachers, they were astonished to see a woman student. Because I was tall and thin, they even joked, ‘you should be a model rather than a welder’. Germans are renowned for their rigorous minds and stern discipline, which are evident in their daily work.”
Binbin first began work with brazing torches in 1997 and was first sent to Germany in 2006, as China began to expand its move into the high speed railway industry, and needed to further train its specialised welders to a new level.
It’s likely that even Binbin went freelance and made a career out of specialist jobs for countries worldwide, she would have to take out comprehensive welders insurance, and project herself and others from all the dangers of an industrial injury.