You’re proud of the safety measures you put in place and the streak of injury-free workdays. Knowing you’re responsible for the safety and maintenance of the machinery puts a ton of weight on your shoulders.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) makes rounds every year to make sure businesses keep their workplaces safe. One of the most common citations OSHA writes is for unsafe machinery or machine guarding.
But, with so much to get done every day, how can you do a thorough but efficient inspection? Keep reading to learn our top eight tips for equipment inspections to help keep that injury-free streak going.
1. Check the Tires
One of the first things you should do during your inspection is kick the tires a little and make sure they’re in good repair. If not, you’ll know to replace them ASAP.
Check for gouges, punctures, or rot on the surface of the tire. Also, use a tire gauge to measure the tread depth. If the tire is not in good condition, replace it soon, or it may pop.
2. Hire a Compliance Consultant
OSHA inspectors know how to find any violation of the guidelines like a heat-seeking missile! During the inspection, they may ask to see maintenance records, inspection records, testing logs, or completion documentation. If the inspector isn’t satisfied, they can slap you with hefty fines.
One way to make sure you don’t get any violations and fines is to hire a company that reviews and updates your mechanical integrity program. Their job is to make sure you meet all OSHA regulations and prevent your company from injuries or fines.
3. Hydraulic Check
The hydraulics not only operate the attachments, but they can also affect the machine’s steering. Anything with unpredictable steering isn’t safe for your workers and won’t meet mechanical regulations set by the OSHA guidelines.
For example, if you’re checking a bucket loader, hold the bucket in the air and watch the hydraulics for a couple of minutes. If you see the bucket drop at all, you may need to service the hydraulics before they fail on you.
4. Bucket and Fork Attachments
While we’re on the topic, buckets, forks, and other forward attachments should also get checked during the inspection. Check the whole area for any deterioration, failing welds, scalloping on the cutting edge, or other wear and tear.
Keeping these attachments maintained ensures that the machine works as well as it should. When the machine works well, it reduces the chance of injury to the workers.
5. Rear Mounted Attachments
Not all machines have rear attachments, like a crawler. But, don’t neglect them if your machine does. Do a check for wear and tear or hydraulic issues like you did with the front-end attachments.
If you do need to do repairs, make sure to log that in a mechanical maintenance log. Doing this makes sure everyone, including OSHA, knows the last time that piece of equipment needed repair and how you fixed it.
6. Engine Check
If your engine doesn’t work, then the machine can’t function as well as it should or at all. On top of that, engines can explode if you don’t maintain them as you should, and watch the oil levels.
Keep up on your engine maintenance schedule and keep the records to prove it. OSHA pays very close to engine maintenance because of the combustion that happens and the risk of injury if things go awry. Often, the OSHA investigators will want to look at your maintenance records to make sure you’re getting maintenance as often as the manufacturer recommends.
7. Cab and Control Equipment Inspections
The cab is the control center of the machine and one of the most critical areas to check out during the inspection. Think of it as the brain and skull of the body. If something goes wrong here, it could cause catastrophe for anyone nearby.
Check the steering column to make sure it’s not loose or too stiff and that the wheel moves the way that it should. Also, make sure the cab seals nicely and all the windows are free of significant cracks that would impair vision. If the machine driver can’t see, they can’t safely do the job.
8. General Machine Operation Check
The last thing you should do during your inspection is to either hop in the cab or have someone operate the machine and move it around as if they were performing a task. Make sure the machine works as it should and that the movements seem smooth.
Sometimes, you won’t even see an issue during the inspection, but you might be able to spot a change in how the machine operates. Perform a variety of movements to make sure everything is in good working order.
No Job Is Urgent Enough To Neglect Safety
Even if you made sure no one on your team suffered an injury at work, you could still get citations if your machinery isn’t up to snuff. Make sure to take time to inspect every piece of machinery regularly.
The reason these rules are in place is to make sure the workplace is as safe as possible. So, following the guidelines means you’re doing everything possible to protect your workers!
We hope you enjoyed reading this article and that you learned some tips about performing routine equipment inspections. If you’re looking for more informative articles about business, technology, and more, check out the rest of our blog today!