Can you do your own inspections?
Australian Standards make frequent references to competence and competent persons. A competent person will have acquired through training, education and experience, or a combination of these, in addition to the knowledge and skills enabling that person to safely and effectively perform the task required.
Competency isn’t achieved through simply working around equipment for a long time or applying theories based on experience alone. Ranger personnel have heard it said on site that someone believes himself or herself to be competent because they have been using lifting equipment to rig loads for a long period of time. However, they have never received the training and education to know what the safe use criteria actually are.
While DIY inspections might seem like a good idea, there are a lot of risks and costs associated with inspecting and managing lifting equipment in-house. Have you carefully considered the position of your employees and your business if something goes wrong?
Are your staff competent as defined in the standard?
Any employees who inspect lifting equipment are required by law to be suitably trained, qualified by knowledge and practical experience. They must be able to choose the correct lifting chain slings and inspect them as specified in the standard.
Are your staff keeping accurate records?
Keeping accurate records of your lifting equipment and inspections is essential. All of your equipment in use needs to be fully certified and traceable. Documentation of competency standards and procedures must also be maintained.
When the costs and risks are weighed up, there is little incentive for a company to conduct teir own inspections.
Combined in-house / third party inspections
We always recommend that our clients keep a close eye on their lifting equipment. Outsourcing shouldn’t be treated as giving 100% of the responsibility to a third party. A good combination is to adopt in-service and periodic inspections whereby a lifting equipment expert conducts training so customers can inspect their kit before each use and identify potential defects, while the experts come in to conduct a full, periodic inspection.
Are your staff passing equipment that should be decomissioned?
Staff are under constant pressure to get projects completed and could be using defective equipment to ensure the job is not delayed. As an employer it is your responsibility to ensure that all care is taken to provide a safe workplace. Every business is under pressure to maximise efficiencies and cut costs but what could it cost you if something goes wrong?
We take safety seriously.
Business owners have legal responsibilities to implement health and safety practices in the workplace. There could be serious consequences if an incident occurs and uncertified lifting equipment was used.
While DIY inspections might seem like a good idea, there are a lot of risks and costs associated with inspecting and managing lifting equipment in-house.
Have you carefully considered the position of your employees and your business if something goes wrong?
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Ashley is General Manager at Ranger and a lifting equipment expert. Ashley has a great passion for the lifting industry and a determination to positively impact the way the world uses new technologies and components to lift materials and people.