Staying Compliant in the Workforce: OSHA Machinery Testing Requirements

Testing for material handling equipment, including of course load testing in Austin, TX, isn’t just a good idea – it’s the law. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration imposes strict testing requirements on companies employing material handling equipment. Cranes, forklifts, conveyors and pallet racks must all be subject to rigorous and regular tests to ensure proper safety.

Why It’s Done

The reason material handling equipment requires regular testing is because, like all machinery, it wears down over time. Parts rust, hoses leak, compressors crack. When that happens, the results can include serious injury and death for the men and women using the equipment. So regular testing helps ensure a safe and productive workplace.

Who Does It

You can’t just walk in on your first day of work and inspect cranes and forklifts. Nor is there a degree program in the subject. Typically, those qualified to test equipment such as that subject to load testing in Austin, TX, must have a certain number of work hours under their belts.

For instance, crane inspectors must have 2,000 or more field hours of experience maintaining, modifying, and testing hoist equipment. The inspector must have extensive formal training in safety and design codes, pertinent laws and regulations at the federal, state, and local levels, best practices in the safe handling of equipment and the ability to write documents and communicate about the proper use of cranes.

No one who does not meet these requirements can perform safety testing of any kind.

Testing Schedule

OSHA requires that materials be thoroughly inspected and subject to load tests before their first use. They are further required to do functional test inspections before every shift, which look for obvious signs of damage or malfunction, and then more intensive inspection on a periodic basis throughout the life of the machine.