Construction is a high-risk industry. Needless to say, safety should always be a top priority regardless of the project. The knowledge of the equipment and materials with which construction personnel work is one of the most important factors in occupational health and safety. One of the most significant processes is hoist inspection. It is essential in making sure that the equipment, such as cranes, functions properly for a long period of time. Failure to comply with this can lead to equipment failure or may cause accidents.
Understanding Hoist Inspection
Hoist inspection is the method of checking and conducting an assessment of the overhead hoists which are commonly found on construction sites. The inspection is done on various timetables: daily, weekly, or monthly. Generally, its main purpose is to determine the hoist’s working condition, identify necessary repair and maintenance work, and ensure it is safe for use. As such, it should be done by hoist operators, compliance officers, and designated maintenance personnel only.
On a more important note, OSHA-CFR 29 Part 1910.179 is the federal regulation that applies to overhead and gantry cranes, to which hoists are typically attached. In accordance with the OSHA standards, the performance of hoist inspection duties is a must.
Half Height / Full Height inspections
In addition, when the construction hoist is installed, regardless of its height (half or full), the inspection report must cover the following:
- Floor by floor inspection from top to bottom checking installation meets the appropriate OSHA standards.
- Hoist car inspection checking it is in safe operable condition.
- Paperwork inspection review must include the following:
- The daily logbook has been completed as required
- All level jumps were recorded and handed over correctly
- Any breakdowns or faults were attended to appropriately
5 Important Things To Remember For Effective Hoist Inspection
As necessary as they can be to the production line, construction hoists are often some of the more neglected equipment in a facility. It only gets attention after they fail or are no longer functioning. In this regard, the ASME B30.16 Overhead Hoists (Underhung) highly enforce that only qualified persons trained to do so must perform the inspection.
In order to ensure that the hoist inspection is effective and that everything is in order, here are things you need to remember.
Routine Pre-use Checks
Pre-use checks are critical. It is one of the most important safety procedures that could avoid any untoward incidents that can cause injuries or result in terrible expenses. Keep in mind that there are multiple factors that can affect its functionality since the last time it was inspected. Factors that can reduce the safety of the hoist are defective components, working load limit, electrical contact, and more.
Making pre-use checks a habit can help operators identify issues before they cause serious problems. Issues that were determined during this process must be recorded and reported in order for immediate actions to take place.
Comply With Schedule Inspections
As mentioned before, construction hoist inspections are done based on a specific timetable. OSHA requires cranes and hoists to be inspected once a year at the minimum. On the other hand, it has been a common practice to do inspections frequently, particularly on a daily and monthly basis, as well as pre-use. The purpose of this procedure is to ensure safety within the workplace.
If you and your team have already set a regularly scheduled inspection, make sure that you don’t miss a single one. Doing this on a regular interval can guarantee the effectiveness of the hoist as well as the completion of the tasks which require its usage. On top of that, adherence to the scheduled inspections is part of compliance with safety policies.
Address Issues Thru Communication
Communication is key. Perhaps you’ve heard this everywhere and it is a crucial aspect of the construction hoist inspection. Once issues or errors on the hoist have been identified, it’s paramount that your relay this information to the team, especially, to the maintenance personnel, in order for immediate actions to take place. By doing so, accidents and operational setbacks can be avoided.
Furthermore, having a protocol for communicating specifically for maintenance and repair can make things easier for you and your team. Now, there are a lot of things that could go wrong in a construction hoist, such as:
- Hoist load brake slips (hoist will not support loads)
- The hoist will not freewheel
- Hoist load brake drags
- Hoist hooks opened
Note: There are other issues that could be found during an inspection. Some can be major, while some need minor repair. Regardless of the damage or error, immediate attention is required when the situation calls for it.
Secure an Inspection List
As a guideline to be followed, an inspection list must be available. The Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI) recommends a standard pre-inspection checklist that overviews areas of focus, including the operating mechanism, hoist limit devices, hooks, latches, and lifting media. You can make use of this checklist so you can keep them short but effective. Now, if the aforementioned checklist does not cover everything, you are free to customize it to fit your business needs and preferences.
Compile and Organize Inspection Data
Yes, you need to compile and ensure that all data are recorded. Keep in mind that it is a recommended practice to secure documentation of all inspections. This way, you and your team can identify recurring issues and gain added insights. Plus, it can help prevent future errors since you can work on the root causes and provide long-term solutions, rather than just establishing repairs based on the symptoms.
In any event, if you wish to utilize the services of an independent hoist inspection professional rather than perform this task in-house, your records will be of great benefit to them.
Construction hoists play a critical role in the construction line and it’s essential to ensure that it is safe to use. Preventive maintenance and frequent hoist inspection can prevent costly downtime and potentially dangerous situations. In compliance with the safety policies set by various organizations (specifically, OSHA, ASME, and HMI), regular inspection schedules must be adhered to.
On top of that, a thorough examination should be conducted by a competent person with practical and theoretical knowledge and experience of the lifting equipment and its use. Don’t overlook any processes or procedures along the way.