What is an equipment inspection checklist?

Checklists are inherently important especially for those who are inspectors or officers because they guide them into making sure that the important things to assess are absolutely checked for the common good. An equipment inspection checklist is used by these officers in order to know which kinds of equipment, and which specific parts are necessary for them to see are working and are still working safely. Because of the technicality and the abundance of number of equipment used within a workplace, some things or aspects may easily be forgotten. A checklist always helps you remember, and it even makes your task smoother since you have a bullet-pointed list of objects to assess. Just like fire risk assessment checklists, it makes sure that you do not miss anything at all.

Important Components of  an Equipment

As previously mentioned, equipment are not necessarily the simplest tools. They are complex, unique, and even hard to use. Inspectors ought to be those who have the expertise, or perhaps just those who are familiar with the equipment at hand in order for them to know how the equipment is supposed to work, sound like, and move, so if ever there will be glitches, they may easily identify them. With that being said, one has to know about the important components of an equipment as well as how to assess these components. Here is a list of those important components, and an elaborate discussion of where to inspect them.

Textile Equipment : Textile equipment pertain to the machines used in manufacturing fabric, and various woven and non-woven objects. These are the machines that are integral in the sewing, spinning, and weaving process used to develop fabrication materials such as thread, fiber, and yarn, for instance. When dealing with textile equipment, it is important for you to look if there are areas in which the machine is worn, as well as abrasion especially in parts that are heavily load-bearing. Abrasion may be identified when results resemble furry webbing such as in ropes. Stitches are also to be assessed, and made sure that results are not cut or broken. Damage by chemical should also be checked through seeing to it that the results do not display discoloration or inconsistent pigmentation. Damage by heat can be identified if the produced material contains glazed areas.Working Ropes or Safety Ropes : Working ropes or safety ropes pertain to the harness used to lessen the likelihood of the user getting injured or dying. This is a form of personal protective equipment usually utilized by construction workers to ensure their well-being in construction sites especially given that they will be operating in high altitude areas. To assess working ropes, inspectors have to check the ends of the rope for excessive wear. Other than surface damage, internal grit for abrasion whose normalcy is something you may gauge through the manual given for that specific working rope. The manual can tell you the signs of the need for replacement. Unusually soft or hard areas are to be immediately taken out of the working site.Cow’s Tails, Lanyards, and Slings : Cow’s tails, lanyards, and slings are utilized by workers to keep their personal belongings close to them such as keys, and identification forms. The length of these objects are to be checked by inspectors to make sure that they are not prone to causing inefficiency or even injury to the worker. The conditions of these materials are also inspected, such as the knot of the cow’s tail. If the tie that knots the cow’s tail appears to be very tight, it is expected to be retied, and if irredeemable, then it is advisable for it to be removed from service.Descenders : Descenders are part of the metal components of equipment. They pertain to equipment that is used with a working rope, necessary to regulate friction and control the pace of the working descending with the use of a rope or a harness. The important things to look into when dealing with descenders are deformations, cuts, cracks, corrosion, contamination by chemicals such as the flaking of aluminum products, the build-up of foreign matter like grease, paint, and grit, and the like. As an inspector, you need to be careful in the process of checking up the descenders because any slip up could cause a matter of life and death. With that being said, the action to take as a result of which also determines the likelihood of the risk happening. To respond to the problems regarding descenders, you are to remove foreign matter that built up within the tool in order for it to continue working well and avoid any possible glitches. However, for issues like deformation, heaving burring or marking, cracks, chemical contamination, and incorrect functioning, you are to remove the tool from service because these very small issues can truly lead to imminent danger. When you are having the slightest doubt regarding the functionality and safety of certain descenders, you are advised to follow your instincts and immediately dispose of the tool from work.Ascenders or Back-up Devices : Ascenders or back-up devices are very similar to descenders, but serve a different purpose which is to let a worker go back up. These are tools that help construction workers, for instance, ascend to different levels of the building or establishment that they are working at. Their perfect execution and condition are just as important and crucial as those of descenders. The parts of the ascenders that you should prioritize to look into as an inspector are their cam teeth or rope channel which is the primary make-up of such a tool, as well as the hinge pin. Similar glitches as of the descenders such as deformations, cuts, cracks, heavy marking and burring, corrosion, contamination of chemicals and foreign matter build up are also to be checked to guarantee the sustained quality of the ascenders. For the visual and tactile aspects, you are to review the moving parts and ensure that they are functioning correctly such as the springs, locking catch, and threaded assemblies. These are things that you should constantly make sure are tightened and secured. In a similar principle to the descenders, you are also to remove any possible or slightly broken ascender from service in order to keep the safety of workers.Connectors : Connectors are a form of personal protective equipment made as a means of fall protection. To prevent workers from falling, they are required to wear their personal protective body wear that is technically straps of strong and hard fabric wrapped around their body to fully support their weight. This body wear is then directly connected to an anchorage or anchorage connector that is basically a hard metal which holds the worker into place, and both the body wear and the anchorage are clipped into each other with the use of a connector. Connectors technically have a broadly similar function with ascenders and descenders, which is why their inspection goes the same way as the previously mentioned equipment. Still, the moving parts are checked if they are functioning well, such as the spring being made sure that it goes back to the keeper correctly, the keeper being located in its designated area, and the hinge pin and catch pin being in good conditions. If connectors show otherwise, they are advised to be thrown and kept out of the equipment to be used by workers.Helmets : Helmets are important to protect the skull of the human person. This is commonly used by high-risk workers such as construction workers. To inspect helmets, you are to guarantee that no cracks are showing, and that the shell is not showing any signs of deformation. The chin straps are also to be made sure are functioning correctly. Helmets have assigned life spans which determine how long they can be used in which they can perform their purpose, and those that exceed their life span are to be disposed of immediately. Damages in the shell and the malfunction of the chin strap are things that also warrant removal from service.

How to Conduct an Equipment Inspection

Now that we know a great deal of the components of equipment and the important aspects to assess in the form of a damage checklist, for instance, it is also strategic for us to exactly learn how to conduct an equipment inspection. Of course, you are expected to have your equipment inspection checklist, which you can either make manually, or download through the samples that are given above. This is an important checklist to possess since it guides you into the parts and the different equipment required for you to look into. Checklists have the inherent purpose of helping you remember, which is something we often struggle to do especially given our limited recalling skills, and the plethora of other things we have to which might cloud our thinking. With that said, this is how you can conduct an equipment inspection.

Step 1: Filling up the Headings

You are expected to conduct your equipment inspection with the use of an equipment inspection checklist. Hence, the first thing you should draw your attention to is the heading of the checklist which asks you about the job site, the make or the model you are assessing, its serial number, and the date of the inspection. These are important because they enable your company or model to have a legitimate record which they can use in the future. Aside from that, it directly ties you back to the job site where work is being conducted, and sees to it that certain equipment are in fact checked and made sure to be safe and secure. The date of inspection guarantees that the assessment of the functionality of the equipment is recent, and that this confirmation is something reliable.

Step 2: Checking the Daily Walk-Around Inspection Points

As the inspector, you have daily walk-around inspection points that need to be assessed. Such points are emergency power motors that come in handy especially in cases of brown outs or black outs, bolts and fasteners, tires and wheels of vehicles around the working site, their fluid levels and battery terminals. The charging systems are also to be made sure to be plugged in every night for the next day’s use. You are also to check hydraulic leaks and hydraulic oil levels, control labels and the rotation system.

Step 3: Functional Tests

After checking your squares in the second step, it is also important for you to run functional tests to secure the pragmatics of your equipment. These include the operators’ compartment which is to be checked from top to bottom, gauges within the workplace, anchorage for lanyards that are where connectors are directly tied to in order to serve as fall protection, controls, and warning devices. Some things cannot be guaranteed to work perfectly well through looking at them in the surface level, but require for you to run a functionality test as part of your safety observation.

Step 4: Comments

Additional comments that the inspector feels the need to include are also welcome. These may be advice for workers, remarks on the conditions of the equipment, or anything that the inspector wants to state as a an addendum.

Step 5: Filling up the Footings

As some sort of closure in the checklist, its bottom part consists of a blank where the inspector can write his or her name and signature, and the date again. This ensures that the inspection was finished and all of the important the bullet points have been checked by the inspecting officer.

How often should equipment be inspected?

Equipment have different required frequency for inspection. Some of those mentioned above need to be assessed on a daily basis since they are constantly being used by workers like lifting equipment, and are basically tools that hold their life further from danger. Some equipment, however, only require inspection every once, three, or six months.

Do I need to have an equipment inspection checklist?

It is certainly advisable. Not only does it make your job easier, but it also makes sure that the important tools and equipment are regularly checked and remained unforgotten for the workers to feel the comfort and confidence of wearing. Equipment inspection checklists are a form of preventive measure, which is why they are very important.

What is a full inspection?

Full inspection pertains to the assessment of deformities of equipment. This additionally helps in accomplishing safety, consistency, and assurance of quality level of the items by contrasting them and setting up guidelines and determinations.

Companies or businesses always have to make sure that their workers are safe and well. Equipment are things that are ever present in job sites in order to make the workers’ jobs easier, faster, and more efficient. They also aid in mobilizing them and making sure that they are protected even in high-risk areas such as a construction site in very high altitudes. Equipment inspection is one thing to be conducted to see to it that these people are well-protected and are using products that will not potentially harm them.