Scott Owyen - Director of Training
May 10, 2017, 03:00 AM
National Safety Stand-Down 2017: The Importance of Performing Inspections and Functions Tests Before you Begin Your Workday
Performing inspections and function tests is a crucial part of safe work practices when operating any aerial work platform equipment. These tasks must be done according to the manufacturer’s instructions found in their manual(s), by a qualified operator. For example, Genie operator’s manuals contain specific, detailed instructions on how to perform any inspections and tests that need to be done before start-up each day.
What is a “pre-operation inspection”?
The pre-operation inspection is a visual inspection performed by the operator prior to each work shift. The inspection is designed to discover if anything is apparently wrong with a machine before the operator performs the function tests. The operator's manual contains information about how to perform this inspection.
When performing the pre-operating inspection, you will need to check for unauthorized modifications, damage, or loose or missing parts. If damage or any unauthorized variation from factory delivered condition is discovered, the aerial platform must be tagged and removed from service. Remember: Repairs to the aerial platform shall only be made by a qualified service technician, according to the manufacturer's specifications.
Once repairs are completed, the operator must perform a pre-operation inspection again before going on to the function tests.
How do I perform function tests on my aerial work platform?
Function tests are designed to discover any malfunctions before the aerial platform is put into service. The operator must follow the step-by- step instructions listed in the manufacturer’s supplied manual(s) to test all machine functions. A malfunctioning aerial work platform must never be used. If malfunctions are discovered, the aerial work platform must be tagged and removed from service.
Repairs to the aerial work platform shall only be made by a qualified service technician, according to the manufacturer's specifications.
How do I perform a workplace inspection?
The workplace inspection helps the operator determine if the workplace is suitable to operate the aerial work platform safely. It should be performed by the operator prior to moving the aerial work platform to the work place. The operator’s manual is a good resource for some of the recognized hazards the operator may encounter on the jobsite, but it’s always a good idea to check with the site supervisor or safety manager for any others.
Be aware of and avoid the following hazardous situations including:
Drop-offs or holes
Bumps, floor obstructions or debris
Unstable or slippery surfaces
High voltage conductors
Inadequate surface support to withstand all forces imposed by the machine
Wind and bad weather conditions
The presence of unauthorized personnel
All other possibly unsafe conditions
Always remember that it’s the operator's responsibility to read and remember the work place hazards, as well as to watch for and avoid them while moving, setting up and operating the aerial work platforms.