Machine Inspections. Do They Matter?

Brakes fail, hoses leak and chains break. They are sudden and, in many cases, deadly. More than 300,000 workers are injured or killed when a machine malfunctions or something breaks each year. That is why OSHA requires an inspection at the start of each shift and, it is also why machine inspections are recommended each time you use the machine and anytime you change operators.

Just this month (August, 2017), while training people to do machine inspections, I discovered problems with several different machines. Seven were rental units that had been brought in specifically for the training. The issues were (in no particular order): Steering cylinder broken (the rod actually fell out when we were testing the steering); Batteries that had no water in them (4-different batteries); Battery cabled that were severely corroded;  Capacity Plates that were not legible or missing; Horns not working; Lift chains that were stiff and rusted; Bad Tires; Damaged and/or missing decals; Operator’s Guides were wrong or missing; Bad Brakes; and Hoses that were leaking and/or damaged. Each of these units had been inspected by a “qualified” mechanic prior to being shipped… what went wrong? The “Inspection Forms” were obviously being pencil-whipped (it happens a lot).

I’ll drop my mic and step down off the soap box because I’m slipping into “Salesman Mode”. This post is not meant to sell anything. It is simply meant to raise awareness. Thank you for your time and thank you for your continued support. Call me if you have any questions or would like more info on this topic.

Charles Palmer – Safety Trainer
Houston Forklift Safety
Spring, TX
(713) 782-0733





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