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3 Best Practices for Inspecting Lifting Equipment: A Guide for Construction Contractors

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Lifting equipment and accessories such as lift trucks, chain slings, portable ladders, hydraulic hoists and winches should be checked and maintained according to the manufacturer instructions to keep them safe for use. In a construction site, lifting operations largely depend on the safety of lifting machinery and their accessories. A poorly maintained lifting equipment can cause accidents, which can result in death. Here are some of the top tips for the maintenance and inspection of lifting equipment.

The Rationale for Inspection -- Lifting equipment is indispensable in a construction site as they aid in hoisting materials and workers to upper levels of a structure. Such machinery should be in tiptop shape all the time to avert incidences of injuries or even death. Inspecting your equipment frequently helps detect any wear and tear that may compromise the operation of such machinery. You can then swing into action by repairing or replacing the faulty component when you detect the problem early. Furthermore, an inspection is vital as it ensures that all lifting equipment and accessories are maintained according to the owner's manuals, which in turn translates into a longer service life.    

When to Inspect Lifting Equipment -- The intervals for inspecting lifting equipment varies from machinery to machinery and from one manufacturer to the other. Contractors should inspect lifting equipment before they are used for the very first time. For example, when you install a hydraulic lift onsite, you must get a certified inspector to ensure that the equipment is installed properly and adheres to safety standards. Also, when you move the equipment from one job site to another, you may want to have it inspected after assembly but before use. A good rule of thumb is to have an expert develop an examination scheme for different lifting machinery and accessories that you should adhere to during inspection. However, you may be forced to inspect and repair such machines in exceptional circumstances, such as when there are modifications or damage to the equipment. In addition, when the lifting equipment has been grounded for long, you should perform a thorough examination.

Record-Keeping -- During the inspection of lifting equipment and accessories, owners must remember to keep all the records because they may be needed by agencies responsible for enforcing laws and regulations related to safety. It is also a good practice to keep all these records in hard and soft copies for ease of retrieval. Furthermore, have one or two people to keep such records in safe custody to prevent illegal alterations. Look for a professional who provides lifting equipment inspections for more information.