All you need to know about periodic general inspections

An essential examination

This post is 3 ans old.

Aerial lift are complex machines. Because the safety of workers and users on construction sites is essential, regular inspections must be carried out on construction and lifting equipment. This inspection is mandatory for all company managers and self-employed workers (industrial or equipment rental companies) who have a fleet of equipment with construction machinery.

What is a periodic general inspection?

The periodic general inspections are part of a quality approach. Their objective is to detect in advance any anomaly or malfunction that could present a danger to the user of the machine. By checking the condition and conformity of your equipment, you reduce the risk of accidents, ensure the safety of your staff, but also your customers, and thus guarantee the successful continuation of your business.

It’s critical that aerial lift inspections are performed by qualified persons. Choosing an accredited external inspection body is the best way to ensure the competence of the inspector and to have full confidence in the results.

Construction equipment is used extensively and can deteriorate quickly. The frequency of the general inspection varies according to the regulations of the countries (every 6 months in France, vs. a maximum interval of 13 months in the United States according to the ANSI standards). The clock starts when the machine is put into service. To further limit risks, an inspection is also necessary when a machine is put back into service, i.e. after having undergone a repair.

How is a periodic general inspection conducted?

It is the responsibility of the company manager to ensure that the inspectors can carry out their inspections in optimal conditions. In this case, he must ensure:

  • safe access to the equipment,
  • the presence of the instruction manual and the availability of the last inspection report, certificate of conformity and maintenance book,
  • the availability of the necessary personnel (to drive the equipment or direct the maneuvers) and of adequate means for the tests or trials such as weighted loads…

The duration of this visit is variable and depends on the number and condition of the equipment.

The Periodic General Inspection of people lifting equipment is done in two stages. First is the general state of the machine (cleanliness, visible parts) which is studied before the machine is put into operation. The inspector will carry out a visual examination to assess the general condition of the lifting equipment. He will check in particular:

  • the general aspect of the machine (oxidation, cracks…)
  • the chassis (state of the wheels, protections or counterweight)
  • the power unit
  • the control panel
  • the hydraulic cylinders, hoses and safety valves…

Next, functional tests are conducted to verify that the equipment is operating properly. The technician must inspect a variety of machine functions, such as controls, brakes, lighting, stability and load capacity. 

At the end of the inspection, the inspector will give you a complete report. This document must always be present in the basket of your lifting equipment. Remember, an aerial platform cannot be put into service until all malfunctions and problems have been corrected.

Periodic general inspections are compulsory and help limit the risks of accidents on work sites. Their frequency varies according to the country. Be careful: they do not replace the recommended maintenance plans from the manufacturer!

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