What If We Don’t Maintain and Inspect Our Chain Hoist?

What If We Don’t Maintain and Inspect Our Chain Hoist?

CX 95 Staging What If

In the course of publishing these articles over the last few years we have hammered on quite a bit about what is the appropriate level of compliance for your hoisting machines.

So far, we’ve only really looked at the process of Risk Assessment, and Mitigation of Risk (by settling on an appropriate Standard or Code of Practice (VPLT SR.2.0 vs AS1418 vs BS7906 etc)) in the context of buying, hiring or otherwise acquiring and using machines.

What very often gets overlooked however, is the fact that all of these Standards or Codes of Practice have specific requirements for the routine inspection, servicing and maintenance of the machinery, and adhering to this inspection and maintenance regime is a requirement for the continued compliance of the hoist.

In this article we’ll look at the inspection and maintenance regime required for a chain hoist that is designed to, and declared as compliant to, a level of BGV-D8+ to VPLT SR.2.0 (or it’s more recent incarnation as IGVW SQ P2). This is not because we are necessarily endorsing this Code of Practice as inherently superior to its Australian, British or American cousins, but rather because it has a very thorough and unambiguous section on “Inspections” and “Documentation of Inspections” that is easy to summarise and understand.

Before a hoist can be put into service, the person or entity supplying and installing the hoist must check:

  • The completeness of the hoist and the installation
  • Proof of previous inspections and manufacturers declarations of compliance
  • The reliable and safe working condition state of all functional safety devices
  • The results of all inspections are documented and kept available 

Before each use, the safe working condition of the hoist should be checked by:

  • Performing a visual inspection to check for damage and/or excessive wear
  • Checking for evidence of previous inspections (e.g. test tags, logbooks etc)
  • Performing a functional safety and operational test of the hoist
All of this ensures that the hoist was supplied, installed tested and checked correctly, but the Code of Practice also mandates that inspections, similar to those that the Contractor is required to make prior to handing over the hoist to the operator, are made to ensure that the hoist still complies to the requirements of BGV-D8+. If these inspections are not made and logged, then your hoist is no longer allowed to be used.

  • Every 12 months, your D8+ hoist must be inspected and certified by “A Specialist/Qualified Person”. This specialist is a person who can prove that (among other things) they have sufficient technical knowledge and at least one year’s practical experience testing electric chain hoists within the event industry, have a working knowledge of WHS legislation, understands the manufacturer’s technical information, can carry out a machinery Risk Assessment and has knowledge and experience using the tools required to make the inspection.
  • Every 3 years, your D8+ hoist must be inspected by an “Authorised Expert”. This person must have the same basic qualifications as the “Specialist”, but with a minimum of 3 years practical experience. In addition, this person must be independently accredited, for example, as a Chartered Engineer or accredited by a testing authority such as NATA (in Australia) or TUV in (Germany).
  • Extraordinary inspections must be carried out on the hoist when there is evidence of damage, after a prolonged period where the hoist has not been in use, or if there have been substantial modifications or repairs to the hoist.

To top all of this off, the results of all inspections should be documented, and to enable a complete history of the hoist to be depicted, these records and logs should be kept together in one inspection book. It is also required that the written result of the last inspection be kept and made available at the site of operation of the hoist, typically by the provision of an inspection sticker (safety tag) on the hoist.

So stay safe and keep inspecting...

Jands Staging provide articles to the "Staging What If" section in CX Magazine. If you have any questions regarding this article then please comment below or email info@jands.com.au.

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