Many companies face challenges in maintaining their safety equipment due to time constraints or the fact that equipment is constantly in use. When safety solutions are out of commission for maintenance, it’s difficult to keep your projects moving forward.
Often, managers fail to maintain equipment because they aren’t aware that they need to. Don’t make the mistake of believing your equipment is functioning properly simply because it doesn’t appear broken. It is critical for the safety of your workers that you perform safety testing on an appropriate timeline.
Do your workplace safety measures include the proper testing and maintenance of your industrial safety equipment? The safety solutions you have invested in could save an employee’s life. Learn how to take care of these vital pieces of equipment:
Three Criteria For Performing Safety Testing
In order to keep your equipment functioning properly, it’s important to conduct safety tests based on these three questions:
- Is the safety equipment structurally sound? Equipment that is old, appears to be falling apart or doesn’t perform well should not be used.
- Is the equipment correct for the job? Workers must know when and how to use equipment as well as what they should do in the event of equipment failure.
- Is your solution part of a larger safety protocol? The right safety solution helps employees perform tasks safely while meeting OSHA standards.
Timelines For Maintenance Based On Equipment Type
Governing authorities such as OSHA usually advise companies to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations when maintaining safety equipment. However, you are able to enhance workplace safety for your employees by following specific maintenance timelines for different pieces of equipment:
Self Retracting Lifelines (SRLs)
SRLs should be tested and certified according to the manufacturer’s recommendations, usually once every one to two years. After a fall arrest, SRLs must be taken out of service and replaced or sent to an authorized service center to be rebuilt and certified.
Wire ropes should be inspected on a regular basis. If the wire rope is frayed, or if there is any doubt concerning its condition, it should be replaced. At a minimum, the rope should be replaced yearly to help avoid wire rope failure.
Instead of wasting time trying to determine which hoses are worn down, replace each one in commission every year.
Inspect the chains on elevating cages every six months to determine whether they need to be lubricated.
While there is no specified timeline for maintaining elevating platforms, power packs wear over time. Oil should be checked according to your practices (monthly/quarterly) and lab tested yearly. Oil that has become discolored must be replaced. Additionally, oil must also be replaced if the power pack overheats.
Damaged Safety Equipment Is Dangerous
Vendors are not able to give you a maintenance timeline for all of your safety equipment because they do not have direct insight into your work environment or how the equipment is being used. While high-quality safety solutions typically do not require a large amount of maintenance, working with damaged equipment is dangerous. When equipment has been hit by a truck or falling object, for example, it may present a safety hazard. Don’t simply weld or duct tape safety equipment that has a ding or a dent. Consider this: What would you do if a hard hat cracked or a cable frayed? Most likely, you would replace it.
You must test your safety solutions and replace damaged equipment in order to protect your workers. Injuries and even fatalities could result from equipment malfunctions due to improper maintenance.
If you have experienced close calls with safety issues in the past, don’t wait until a more serious accident occurs to provide your employees with a safe work environment. Speak with a knowledgeable expert for more advice on taking care of your safety equipment.
Ready to learn more about improving workplace safety? Discover tips for building a culture of safety and maintaining OSHA compliance.