Tracker Ten Keeping Track of Equipment Inspections

Windows Database Software

Keeping Track of Equipment Inspections

Regularly inspecting your equipment is crucial for keeping fall facets of your operation up and running at peak efficiency. It doesn’t matter if you operate a small business, a medium sized construction company or a large factory. Whether your operation uses a single forklift or manlift, a few tractors or multiple cranes or trucks, you need to be consistently inspecting your equipment.

Despite the size of your operation, with regular inspections you can do preventive maintenance, replace worn out items in advance, and ensure the safety of your employees and contractors by preventing work place hazards in advance. By performing regular inspections, you can minimize downtime, increase efficiency and ensure that you are offering your workers a safe work environment improving employee morale. These types of inspections ensure that your company maintains a solid reputation, and can prevent unwanted negative media attention. Some jurisdictions may even require regular inspections in order for you to stay in compliance with laws and regulations and other regulatory requirements. In fact, if you don’t follow legal inspection requirements, you can open yourself up to fines and forced downtime. Inspections may be necessary for warehouse equipment, medical equipment, manufacturing factories, HVAC machinery, farm equipment, industrial vehicles and more. Depending on how much equipment you have, keeping track of inspections by hand may not be feasible. Instead, a dedicated software product may be exactly what you need.

Inspections may be performed on a set schedule (daily, weekly, monthly or annually) or inspections may be based on the amount of use a piece of equipment or machinery gets (based on hours or mileage). You may also choose to do some additional inspections on a random basis. Additionally, you may want to pay particular attention to items with parts that can get worn out, like tires, belts, gears, windshields and other components that can wear out with use. And obviously you want to ensure that things like brakes are in perfect working order. In addition to checking for obvious wear, you want to ensure that all components of your equipment are operating within their factory specifications. Especially in manufacturing type operations, if your equipment is not properly calibrated, your own products may not get correctly produced. Even equipment with non-moving parts like electronics should be regularly inspected to make sure that it is calibrated correctly, and to ensure that attached devices are securely connected. If equipment is off by even a small amount, it can lead to much larger problems down the road. Another inspection you may be performing is simply checking for the cleanliness of items. These types of checks may be especially important in environments where hygiene is critical, like dental offices and restaurants. While these inspections may seem to be quite time consuming, they can prevent major operational future disruptions.

For some equipment a simple visual inspection may suffice. You can often check for signs of deterioration and weakness by simply looking at something. In other cases, you may need special equipment to perform your inspections. This is especially the case for medical equipment that operate under strict tolerances, where a person’s health may be at stake. And you may want to increase the frequency of your inspections as your equipment ages.

Inspection Benefits

Regular inspections can save you time and money. If you catch problems early, you can often minimize repair costs. And if you prevent work place injuries, you can minimize employee sick leave and related staffing shortages along with replacement staff training costs. Employee injury prevention will also reduce your workers compensation premiums. You can also minimize the possibility of being held liable for poorly maintained equipment. Finally, you can avoid costly fines from regulator agencies.

Inspection Checklist

Whatever type of equipment you are inspecting, it’s a good idea to create an inspection checklist, so you don’t miss anything during your inspections. Items on your checklist may come from manufacturer recommendations, experienced employees, trained technicians, mechanics and engineers and industry regulations and guidelines. In fact, many regulatory agencies, like the FDA and TSA have guidelines that you can follow for your own inspections. Checklist items should be simple to perform. If a checklist item is complicated or time consuming, try and split it into smaller more manageable parts. If you do find issues, you should also have a list of corrective actions along side your checklist items. If you are prepared with corrective actions in advance, you can minimize expensive downtime while equipment is being repaired or replaced.

If you don’t have the time to create your own checklist, or to perform your own inspections, you may also be able to hire an outside agency or company to do your inspections. And sometimes you may not even need to go to an outside company. Instead, you may be able to use OEM inspectors. In fact, using certified inspectors may have numerous advantages, as these inspectors are likely to be up to speed on all relevant legal regulations. And with prior inspection experience, they will know exactly what to look for.

Inspection Supplies and Equipment

To properly perform an inspection, you may need certain tools and supplies. While visual inspections may suffice in some instances, often you will need to dig deeper to find problems. Examples of items in an inspection kit may include flashlights, infrared thermometers, moisture detectors, mirrors, measuring devices, electric circuit testers and more. Obviously, the type of items you need to effectively perform an inspection will depend on the type of equipment that is being inspected. In any case, it’s a good idea to have any items required for your inspections on hand, so you can quickly perform any needed inspections.

You can also keep track of which items you have and which items you still need, allowing you to build up your inventory as you spot good deals on items. This is especially handy since survival items are often sold as surplus inventory, and if you are a savvy shopper you can snap up deals on these types of items.

Inspection Records

If you do experience malfunctions that causes injury or financial loss, inspection records can minimize cost. With properly documented inspections you can demonstrate that you are in compliance with all laws and regulations. This may limit your liability for worker compensation. You may also be able to make insurance claims if you can demonstrate that you were not at fault if something breaks down.

Inspection Software

To assist you with your inspection needs, consider using one of our software products. For heavy equipment inspections we offer Tracker Ten for Equipment. For medical and dental device inspections, we offer Tracker Ten for Medical Equipment. For factory machinery and other related devices, we offer Tracker Ten for Machinery. Each of these programs lets you keep a record of all of your inspections. Our software can also remind you when inspections are upcoming and due, and record who did the last inspection, and when the inspection was performed.

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