Many of you have read where I mention that a lot of the inspector's role is being the "unpopular" person in the work environment. I would like to say this ideology has diminished over the years, but I can't. I believe it will remain a valid and descriptive word depicting part of the inspector's role. At times, every inspector will feel unpopular and not want to make certain calls because of the circumstances or personnel involved. However, the inspector has a job to perform. This position is continuously observing the work environment and personnel throughout the day making sure everyone is working within the construction documents and staying in compliance with all the safety requirements. If there is a cause to make a correction it is the inspector bringing that to somebody's attention. And it does not matter who the person is or their position within the project hierarchy.
One way to alleviate some of the uneasiness of being the unpopular one is being prepared the best that you can. I always try to keep an extra hardhat, safety glasses, gloves, side shields (for prescription glasses), etc. Scenario: Client's upper-management individual who works in the "granite towers" of Big City, USA arrives on your site and is missing a PPE requirement. You must make contact and inform that person. When you do, have extra PPE they can utilize while on the site. I will usually comment asking if they are testing me to see if I know or will enforce their safety requirements.
You cannot look the other way in this scenario. Even if the President or CEO arrives onsite not wearing the proper PPE, you must make contact and inform them of the requirements to be onsite. There is no exception. EVERYBODY is held to the rules.