Why equipment pre-use walk-around inspections are a must

May 20, 2019  |  Products

Are your operators in the habit of performing a pre-use walk-around before they start up their machines to tackle the day's tasks? If not, they should be. Doing so isn't just a safety issue - it's also a bottom-line one. First and foremost, the purpose of a pre-use inspection is to ensure that the machine is safe to operate. A defective machine could easily endanger the life of its operator, as well as the lives of laborers working in close proximity to it. If an accident does happen, OSHA or another regulatory agency will ask to see the machine's safety inspection records. If an inspection hasn't been done recently, your firm could face large fines. On a more practical level, a pre-use inspection helps your operators to find small problems before they can become big ones. That means less unscheduled downtime and fewer expensive repairs - which translates into an improved bottom line for your business.

Why do pre-use inspections?

As human beings living in the Information Age, we're accustomed to filtering information. It's a survival mechanism, which we've had to adopt in order to manage information overload. We only pay attention to certain things - usually exceptions to the norm that catch our attention - while virtually ignoring everything else. While that tendency may serve us well in daily life, it isn't an advantage for your equipment operators. By not performing a structured, rigorous daily inspection of their machines, they could easily overlook some obvious problems. The bottom line is that operating a machine without inspecting it is a bit like playing Russian Roulette - the game where one chamber out of six in a pistol is loaded with a bullet, but you don't know which one, until it's too late! For best results, you should have a written or electronic checklist that is specific to each of the major types of machines you operate. Walk-around inspections should be carried out the same way each day - either clockwise or counterclockwise, starting from the front of the machine. You should train your operators on proper inspection techniques and tools and any special procedures you expect them to follow. Don't leave this to chance - train them to adopt the behaviors and practices you expect.

Tags: checklist, inspection, operator safety, safety

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