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How to Perform a Pre-Operation Inspection

How to Perform a Pre-Operation Inspection

How to Perform a Pre-Operation Inspection

Safety should be the most important priority on any job site and equipment should be inspected before each use to ensure the safety of both operators and pedestrians. A pre-operation inspection is a visual examination performed by the operator before each use/shift. The purpose of pre-operation inspections is to provide a safety net which may serve as a method of avoiding preventable accidents. Here’s a helpful checklist of items that should be inspected before operating your mobile elevating work platform (MEWP), telehandler or other machine. 

  • Make sure that the machine has been checked for oil leaks before each use. It’s also important to make sure that the engine has the correct level of oil because operating with low-levels of engine oil has the potential to result in costly damage to the engine. 
  • Check the entire machine for obvious damages or signs of collision/impact. 
  • Ensure that there are no hydraulic leaks and top-off if necessary. 
  • Also, check for engine coolant and battery fluid leaks before each use and add more if needed. 
  • Check entry points for efficacy and damage. 
  • Check wear pads for damage.
  • Check electrical system for damage. 
  • Check fasteners for damage. 
  • Check hydraulic system for damage.
  • Check alarms for damage. 
  • Check switches and horn for damage. 
  • Check engine for damage. 
  • Check tires and wheels for damage. 
  • Check fuel and hydraulic tanks for damage. 
  • Check motors and drive hubs for damage. 
  • Ensure that each manual (operator’s, safety, etc.) are not damaged and located in the appropriate storage container.
  • Check to ensure that all decals and messaging is present and legible. This is an important step to ensure that safety messaging and non-verbal communication can support safe operation. 
  • Check tires to ensure that they have the appropriate pressure. It’s especially important to check for tire pressure when the seasons change as colder weather can cause pressure to drop and warmer weather can cause pressure to increase. This is important because overinflation can cause an uneven tread and underinflated tires decrease fuel efficiency and cause the shoulders of the tire to wear prematurely. 
  • Check the machine for any cracks or structural damage. 
  • Check all components for any inordinate rusting.

Remember to conduct any necessary performance testing, check the workplace for obstacles/safety concerns and to operate per the owner’s manual. Once the full inspection has been completed and the machine is ready for operation, double-check that components have been re-fastened and covered. A secondary purpose of pre-operation inspections can be to identify any needed routine maintenance on a machine and determining whether maintenance is necessary before operation. It’s important to stay up-to-date with routine maintenance to avoid costly (and preventable) repairs that can intrude on project timetables and create avoidable downtime.

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