What Is A Machine Inspection?
Conducting regular inspections on machinery is vital in ensuring that it is safe and suitable for use. By doing this correctly and regularly, you can prevent unnecessary accidents from occurring. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration, or the OSHA as it is also known, has a strict requirement that each piece of equipment that is considered heavy equipment must pass an inspection before first use and undergo further checks if any risks or faults become apparent after that. Upon completing these risk assessments, if any risks are identified, they must be addressed and rectified before they can continue to be used or operated. The results of any inspections that take place must be recorded and stored securely and made available upon request by any enforcing authority. Although records do not have to be recorded in writing, they must be stored on a computer or hard drive for future use.
What Are The Different Types Of Machine Inspections?
The type of machine inspection that takes place all depends on the piece of machinery. This includes considering the condition of the machine, age, working conditions and how often it is used. Machinery inspections can occasionally involve some testing and dismantling as well as a visual inspection, while some parts of the machinery may require inspection at different intervals. There are three different types of machine inspections. Again, the type of inspection conducted solely depends on the machine and the factors mentioned above.
A quick check inspection is a simple inspection that most machine operators are expected to conduct each time they use the piece of machinery. These checks involve checking the condition of cables, ensuring all lights are functioning and testing brakes on any mobile equipment. Although this is considered one of the more straightforward inspections, its importance should not be considered any less than the other inspections. By conducting these smaller checks before every use as well as when required can help prevent machines from causing harm to the user and others.
A weekly check is exactly what it states. Every week any machinery is expected to be checked more thoroughly and deemed safe for operation for the following seven days. A weekly check generally involves; checking the function of any safety devices, ensuring all tyres have the correct tyre pressure and are free from damage, examining all windows and mirrors, offering maximum visibility for the operator and any CCTV assistant used on the machine is in working order.
The more extensive examinations take place less often than the other two machine inspections, and a machine will be inspected more rigorously and in more detail. A more extensive machine examination takes place every few months and in some cases, every year (unless required sooner). The overall and general condition of a ladder, close examination of safety harnesses and portable appliance testing all tend to fall within this inspection category.
Are Machine Re-inspections Necessary?
The short answer is yes! Work equipment that is exposed to more adverse conditions can deteriorate a lot faster than other equipment. For example, machines operated and stored near saltwater can begin to corrode and rust and can go unnoticed if not inspected when required. The frequency of an inspection varies depending on the equipment and its storage conditions. Machinery stored outside and exposed to adverse weather conditions may require more frequent examinations than machinery stored in a warehouse or a container. The inspection frequency can be determined by conducting regular risk assessments, the manufacturer’s recommendations, advice from the industry and operator and through your own general knowledge and experience. The inspection frequency can be altered if it is deemed that the machine needs more regular inspections or is safe to be left for a more extended amount of time.
Who Conducts My Machine Inspections?
Any machine inspections must be conducted by a competent and qualified professional. The individual is required to understand the complete workings of the machine, what any faults or damage will look like and the correct procedure on what to do if they find a problem. This level of competence can vary depending on the inspection and according to the type of equipment. Hence, it is vital the individual inspecting is confident in their knowledge before they conduct the inspection.
What Is Machine Certification?
Equipment used or stored in a workplace must meet a range of standards, directives and regulations. A machinery certificate not only shows your machinery is of the standard that is required for use but that your machinery has undergone any inspections required to ensure its safety for use.
Who Can Issue A Machine Certificate?
A machine can only be certified by a qualified or competent person as defined by the Health and Safety Executive. This individual must be confident in their abilities to conduct a thorough examination of lifting equipment and be able to identify any issues or risks.
What If I Don’t Have The Correct Machine Certificates?
Not having the correct machine certification can cause an extensive amount of problems for you and your business. If a machine inspection is not completed, a machine certification can not be issued. This can result in your company facing severe consequences and penalties. Implications are no longer based on harm caused, but they are now measured on the potential risk of injury, meaning no matter how careful or trustworthy you grade your employees, you can still be prosecuted for not having an examination completed and the correct certification. These consequences include receiving a substantial fine which as a whole has drastically increased over recent years. These fines could exceed a business’s affordability sending a bold and clear message that this will not be tolerated.
Inspections, routine checks and documentation must all be completed and updated regularly. Doing this will help avoid the risk of injury and potential fines while reducing the risk of damage to any equipment. Complying with these requirements protects your employees and yourself and is also crucial to your company’s reputation and future.
Health and safety are significant factors and regulations are put in place to ensure that a business runs as smoothly and safely as possible.