In any construction site, safety should always be a priority.
The use of construction equipment and devices requires meticulous operation by a competent person-in-charge. As part of the preliminary activities to ensure that these tools are safe for use, an inspection corresponding to a safety checklist should be conducted.
One of the many essential types of equipment that requires regular inspection is the personnel/material hoist.
A personnel/material hoist is a piece of equipment used to deliver supplies, components, tools, and workers, from the ground to different floors, especially in a high-rise building construction.
Inspection of the personnel/material hoist is a necessary task considering that the hazard of using defective equipment can lead to potentially fatal incidents in the construction site.
As a contractor or a construction manager, the safety checklist is strictly non-negotiable.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is responsible for regulating the safety of equipment used in the construction site. Although they have not provided a specific set of guidelines in conducting a regular inspection, a clear emphasis on the importance of regularly checking equipment and devices utilized in material handling and storage was stated in the OSHA 1926.552
The inspection of the personnel/material hoist should be conducted at the beginning of each shift, or operator change. That is for the thorough inspection of the entire equipment.
However, a basic visual examination should be performed prior to use to ensure that the personnel/material hoist can be used safely. The inspection often comes with a form enclosing the personnel/material hoist safety checklist which should cover the condition or status of the following:
- Operational capacity
- Load sprockets and blocks
- Controlling devices
- Limit switch devices
- Brake mechanism
- Fastening devices (bolts, nuts, and pins)
- Wiring and fittings
- Marking and labels
Based on the minimum requirements for safety set by the OSHA, here are the preliminary tasks that qualified personnel should carry out to meet the personnel/material hoist safety checklist.
1. Visual inspection of tags and labels
A visual inspection is always the first step in order to assess the overall functionality of the personnel/material hoist. Make sure that the equipment does not bear the “Out of Service” sign which is enough indication that it should not be used.
Likewise, check if the nameplates, warning, and safety labels, and other tags are complete and damage-free.
Oftentimes, these labels and tags may be overlooked but it is best to remember that they are necessary to relay information on the status of the equipment. You may be one sticker away from a catastrophe so make sure to check all warning signs.
2. Test run of the equipment
Before using the equipment to transport heavy loads of construction personnel/materials from the ground up and vice versa, make sure that a proper test run was performed.
Operate the hoist in all the motions and with the maximum capacity that it can carry. Likewise, ensure that all faculties, pushbuttons, switches, and other essential parts of the machine work correctly.
3. Check for any damage or deformation
When conducting a visual examination, one of your primary goals is to detect any damage or critical deformation that can inflict direct or indirect danger to the workers. Also check for alarming wear or deformities in the gears, rollers, locking devices, etc.
4. Check for any indication of oil leakage
Oil leakage is a nightmare incident that should be avoided at all costs. In conducting your safety inspection, always look for any indicators of oil leakage that originates from the machine.
Check for oil stains on the hoisting equipment or brown puddle on the nearby ground. Also, assess the oil level indicator and the presence of burnt oil scent and irregular smoke.
5. Check for any bizarre noise
Conducting an inspection is indeed meant to be a task for those who are acquainted with the equipment.
Either you are a qualified operator or a person with in-depth knowledge and expertise on personnel/material hoist devices as you have a strong familiarity with the sound that the device makes. Thereby, it becomes easier for you to detect atypical noises that could signal critical defects in the equipment.
If these unusual noises are observed, try to detect the source. Never ignore these changes as they can potentially put lives in danger and halt the construction operation at the expense of losing time and investment as well as increasing liability.
Daily Inspection Checklist
To ensure that the hoist performs its best in a reliable and safe way, conduct a daily inspection using the safety checklist.
Here are points you can include in your checklist.
- Is the hoist tagged with an out-of-order sign?
- Is the control box labelled?
- Is the load rating present?
- Do all travel direction motions correspond with the hand control device?
- Does hoist motion have excessive drift?
- Does the car roof perimeter handrail guarantee enough protection from falling?
- Are there any unusual sounds when the hoist is maneuvred?
In a Nutshell
Personnel/Material hoist devices can be prone to damage over time as they are understandably subjected to the constant lifting of heavy materials. This mere function already presents a critical safety risk, let alone, losing screws and bolts in the equipment while an operation is going on.
By conducting a routine inspection of the personnel/material hoist and making sure that the safety checklist is met accordingly, you could ensure the smooth operation and maintenance of the personnel/material hoist.
If you’re looking to rent a construction hoist in the United States, reach out to one of our team members for more information. You can also complete our online quote request and one of our staff will be in touch with you to discuss your project in more detail.