Taking lifting equipment inspection and service paperless
Crane & Lifting Magazine: https://www.cranesandlifting.com.au/taking-lifting-equipment-inspection-and-service-paperless/
When it comes to lifting equipment safety inspections and service, it’s important not to leave your safety hanging on an outdated or over complicated procedure.
Lifting inspections may range from more high value assets like hoists or cranes to lower value but high-volume assets like slings, shackles and chains. Whatever you are inspecting, whatever your business requirements and needs are, it’s important to have a solution that is both dynamic and customisable for what you are trying to achieve. Multiple worksites or numerous equipment types can be difficult to manage when running a pen and paper inspection process. The excessive paperwork and guesswork of inspection standards when distinguishing between products harms your accuracy, safety and workplace productivity. Lifting equipment is kept in downtime longer than needs be and your inspection drags on.
Many organisations and industries around the world are hence moving their operations and inspections to paperless; inspection via a mobile device such as a smartphone or tablet. Digital solutions can come in many forms such as “free” apps (there is no “free lunch”) or tailored business solutions depending on what your business needs and requirements are. Whilst free apps are simple to download and try out, they don’t provide the same versatility for registering different lifting equipment types and regulations against checklists and standards. Aside from the issue of data security, sharing your information and accuracy, there is also the question whether you want your multi-thousand- or million-dollar equipment or asset arsenal inspected and managed by an AU$0.99 app. The benefits of premium paperless inspection solutions for inspecting lifting equipment are both widespread and easy to realise. By having everything running through the application and the backend solution, inspectors can scan barcodes/RFID on equipment to access recent use history, maintenance logs, manuals, ISO and Australian standards or test and proof load certificates. This also removes the problems of visual judgment as there is a photographic image to compare pre and post use to.
A large part of a technician’s task of providing actionable information is knowing how to do this as well as possible. Using the same mobile device that employee may scroll through a social media feed at lunch therefore inherently lends itself to suiting the job. Running of the same iOS or Android operating system, employees need next to no training of operating an inspection app, whilst problems can be solved with automated corrective actions or a simple phone call. What many lifting companies realised during the 2010s was that many employees were carrying around devices in their pocket capable of transforming their job process.
Some technicians and inspectors working at remote locations or in hazardous environments have different safety requirements. These can range from needing intrinsically safe (e.g., Zone 1 or Zone 2, IECEx, ATEX, NEC) mobile devices to needing GPS timestamps for each inspection. Whether this is a simple identifying inspection or an industry audit compliance,
premium paperless inspection applications can often run these exactly the same. As long as any industry regulations are loaded onto the system running and managing the inspection reports, then any inspection can be configured to be directly in line with specific organisational or industry compliance needs (e.g. The Lifting Equipment Engineers Association- LEEA). Likewise, many inspections can have actions that need to be taken in the field at the time of routine inspection or service, something highly cumbersome to manage with pen and paper methods. Using digital inspection systems, pre-configured corrective actions can be added to inspection reports which suggest the correct action to be taken depending on the data input and inspection results. Features like these help technicians and inspectors to work smarter during their inspections, service and maintenance activities, keep lifting equipment in use, work place and employees safe and improve the ROI and the bottom line.
Some of the features of paperless lifting equipment solution:
- Complies & Access to Standards (e.g., AS 2550, 1418, 3775, 4991, 1353, 3850)
- Speech to Text Data Entry (Voice Recording)
- Automatic Time/Date/GPS stamp
- Image Annotation
- Offline Recording
- Automatic Corrective Actions
- Proactive Triggers, Reminders & Notifications
- Electronic Logbooks
- Instant Reporting
Some of the benefits of paperless/digital inspections and mobile technology:
Digital inspections keep inspectors and technicians mobile, covering more ground and project sites as it takes less time to fill out digital forms, take necessary visual verification using the mobile device camera or using the speech to text capabilities.
Because these digital forms are available on smartphones, tablets and phablets, makes it easier to access, share and send out just about anywhere and anytime.
- Use Barcode or RFID to identify assets
- Pre/Post Hire/Delivery Checklists
- Customer Portal Access 24/7
Real Time Reporting:
Electronic inspection hits more birds with one stone as reporting happens in real time. Assessment and evaluations via mobile solutions and applications send out the data to management as its happening, cutting down time on data gathering/compilation, encoding, sorting, analysis and reporting through channels.
It is easier to pull out or access previous data/reports for comparative purposes, corrective actions, trends or further verification. Paperless inspection solutions deems it unnecessary to go through channels but rather opens up the route of communication wherein all concerned management staff have access to the information in a timely manner or as it is happening.
The only true way to realising just what a lifting inspection solution can do is to understand the configuration and tailoring abilities of the solution provider.
To learn more about how paperless can be customised for lifting equipment inspection and service.