Inspecting equipment: What to look for and why!
Posted on 7th Aug, 2015 | By Lorretta Tatham
When you’re using equipment day-in day-out over time you’ll find it will deteriorate. All equipment has a life span, which solely depends on the quality of the product and how you take care of it. With damaged equipment carrying real risks, the HSE advocate that all workers and employers must carry out routine safety inspections to ensure safety and wellbeing in the workplace.
While we recommend getting some help from the professionals, it’s also important that at least one member of your team can carry out adequate inspections themselves. Without this expertise, it’s not just the workers that will be at risk; the whole company could face serious legal costs and even shutdown – should an incident occur.
When to check equipment
To ensure safety at work, we recommend checking equipment before and after use, and double-checking again whenever you move it from one place to another. More thorough safety inspections are also advised every 3/6/12 months, depending on how often the equipment is used.
What to look for
The aim of the inspection is to check that everything is in good working order. If you find any fault the equipment must not be used until properly repaired. Failing to follow this guidance may lead to injury, compensation claims or even closure of a workplace – depending on the severity of the incident.
Generally one needs to play close attention to the following features:
- Missing or loose steps / rungs
- Damaged or worn feet
- Loose nails, screws or bolts
- Rot or decay in wooden ladders; bent metal or cracks on other ladders
- Corrosion, rust, oxidation and excessive wear
- Loose or broken extension locks
- Features, such as safety locks, that fail to work entirely
- Lack of lubrication
- Defective or missing parts
While these inspections should be carried out under all circumstances, proper maintenance procedures should also be followed to minimise the likeliness of defects and general wear and tear.
Cleaning and protecting ladders, as advised, will help to keep them in good condition – as will storing them in the right environment. Replacing worn or broken parts – for example rope on extension ladders – also reduces the risk of more ladder parts breaking and failing.
Professional safety inspections
While it’s essential that you inspect your own equipment regularly, a professional inspection goes into that little more detail, offering an extra-critical eye.
At Browns Ladders we can carry out these ladder safety inspections for you – inspecting equipment ranging from general ladders to scaffold towers and work platforms. We can take a look at up to 50 items in one day and can carry out all those essential repairs for you – should any of your equipment require it.
Our team has been carrying out inspections for over 10 years now, so you can be confident of our skills and knowledge. To find out more, or book your inspection, call our team on 01282 615 517.