Monthly Equipment Inspections: A Workplace Necessity
Monthly equipment inspections help keep your workplace safe. Hand tools, power tools, extension cords and other equipment can wear down, break or just get old. By conducting routine inspections, you stay OSHA-compliant and your employees can identify and remove pieces of equipment that may be dangerous.
Good risk management includes tracking the operational status of every piece of equipment in your facility. Using a system that requires monthly inspections ensures you stay on top of potential hazards. Hazards can be discovered and removed quickly so your employees can work in the safest environment possible.
Get Your House in Order
If you have not been conducting in-depth equipment inventories, now is the time. Break equipment lists into manageable groups so inspections run more smoothly. Groups can be based on geographic sections of your workplace or by type of equipment; what is important is that you use a system that works for you and your employees. Your system must encourage everyone to conduct the right inspections at the right times. After inspections, equipment should be marked with color-coded tape that signifies it has been thoroughly checked and that it works as intended.
Inspection checklists ensure nothing slips between the cracks. Cords, handles and even the proximity of emergency equipment like fire extinguishers can be added to inspection checklists. The last item on an inspection checklist should be something that reminds the inspector to label the equipment appropriately.
Print and post your inspection color scheme so personnel can identify the inspection status of all equipment. The standard inspection color-coding chart follows both quarterly and monthly patterns. During the first quarter, all equipment is labeled with white and the color of the corresponding month; for example, equipment inspected during March will bear a white (representing the first quarter) and blue (representing the month) label. Equipment inspected during August will be labeled in both red and yellow.
Inspectors should also keep the color-coding chart handy to ensure accuracy and achieve maximum safety.
OSHA Noncompliance Results in Fines
Equipment that has not been recently inspected will be easy to identify after you implement the color code system. This helps keep your business OSHA-compliant and your workplace safe. Since OSHA has recently cracked down on noncompliance and worker endangerment, implementing simple strategies like inspection labeling can save your business thousands of dollars in fines – and even better, can protect you and your workers from hazardous equipment.