The proper maintenance of equipment is commonly overlooked in the workplace. This may continue because of the financial costs of maintaining equipment, excessive time in order to carry out such a task, untrained workers or simply because of a bad habit. However, ensuring that equipment is safe and ready to be used is vital for the safety of your employees.
Frequent inspection and maintenance is required by the manufacturer of a device in order to keep it functioning at the rate and efficiency that it was designed at. Guidelines are placed below to help you understand the proper way to care for some of the typical equipment that you see, keep in mind that this list is non-exhaustive, as there are a great many pieces of equipment that should be inspected regularly.
Rope – A complete check from one end to another. Be on the look out for any cut, frayed or bunched fibres. The rope must be twisted against its natural winding in order to properly inspect the inner parts of the threads.
Webbing – Typically, work positioning devices and lanyards are made from webbing material. Inspection of the entire surface for any tears, pulled fibres, and worn out edges.
Buckles, Snaps & Connecting Devices – Found on harnesses, ropes and other safety equipment. Check for any cracks or distortion on the hardware. The D-Ring of a fall arrest harness must be regularly checked for any deformation. Other devices such as metal buckles, snaps etc should be checked for overuse, bends or cracks.
Ladders – Ensure that they are always set up on even, stable ground. The rails and rungs of a ladder must be checked for any cracks or defects.
Hand & Power Tool – Should be inspected frequently for cracks or malfunctions. All damaged or broken tools should be tagged so that individuals know they are not to be used or are being discarded/replaced/repaired – only tools that are of a high standard of condition should be utilised by workers.