#67 Equipment Maintenance
So much depends on well-maintained tools and equipment. Things can go seriously wrong if equipment is not regularly inspected and maintained. Electrical cords can fray or be accidentally cut – the outcome can prove fatal! Powered equipment can overheat if not properly maintained -afire can be the result. Ladders, scaffolds and scaffold planks deteriorate as they are used at one jobsite after another – when they break, the result is usually a serious injury. The end lugs on decorator’s planks can be bent back and forth until when they are loaded, they finally snap off, tipping the painter on to the floor.
In just about every trade on a construction jobsite, tools and equipment wear with use and many of them can be very dangerous. It can be as simple as a chisel end, which can mushroom over after continuous use and a sliver of metal fly off into your eye. A worn saw blade of a power saw can kickback; compressor hoses and bad connectors can burst; a malfunctioning vehicle back-up warning can kill; badly adjusted nail guns can misfire – the list is endless.
Whenever a tool or piece of equipment malfunctions or is in need of service, label it, mark it, lock it out and tag it. Do whatever it takes to make sure some unsuspecting worker doesn’t pick it up, operate it and have an accident. When you have the tool or piece of equipment repaired, make sure you have it repaired by a qualified technician, the manufacturer’s service representative or whoever can be trusted to do the job properly. In this high hazard industry, we rely on so many tools and pieces of equipment that can cause serious injury if not used properly or not well maintained.