The Insider Article – Safety starts at home
LHA MAY JUNE 2019 | THE INSIDER | ASHLEY THACKER
Only when everybody takes responsibility for safety can we reduce accidents associated with lifting and rigging equipment. Pre-use inspection is a good place to start.
Even before the occasion when it is used for the first time, a single item of rigging gear passes through many hands. It is manufactured, shipped, stored, distributed, probably stored again, and then used to connect a hook to a load. By the time it has been used below-the-hook on multiple occasions, many more would have handled it. The trouble is, it creates a ‘someone else’s responsibility’ culture, where it is assumed that another person in the chain made sure it was safe to use. That theory is as dodgy as a weak link in a chain sling—potentially fatal.
You have got to take responsibility for safety, whether you are a manufacturer, reseller, supervisor, user, worker, crane driver, or someone else. Unless every time you look at a piece of equipment or machinery, you ask yourself, “Is it safe?” you are potentially facilitating a dangerous situation.
Wherever we dip into a supply chain, the same attention should be given to safety. Australian business owners are responsible for health and safety in the workplace. They need to ensure that the business doesn’t create health and safety problems for employees, contractors, volunteers, visitors, customers, or the public. This includes ensuring safe use and handling of goods (material handling) and substances, in addition to providing and maintaining safe machinery and materials.
With that in mind, and given this magazine’s strong readership in the end user marketplaces that use lifting and rigging gear, I want to focus on what owners and users of that equipment can do to make sure their entire workforce goes home safely at night—without fail.
The importance of inspection is at the heart of this message. Recent updates to standards and legislation have placed even more emphasis on testing and inspection criteria. Many of the standards that are relevant to the lifting equipment marketplace here in Australia are produced by the ME-025 Lifting Tackle committee at Standards Australia—the nation’s peak non-government, not-for-profit standards organisation. ‘AS 3776:2015 Lifting components for Grade T(80) and V(100) chain slings’ is among the standards that reference testing throughout their pages.
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