Have you ever driven a route you travel day after day only to reach your destination and not really remember the trip? Working on rote memory, your brain is on auto-pilot. And while you arrived safely, you have an unsettled feeling of not knowing exactly what transpired on that drive.

A similar situation can happen to us at work. When you walk the same path or perform the same task day after day, your brain starts to do it without conscious thinking. It’s easy to fall into a comfortable lull of equipment always working as it should and everything being in its place.

This kind of complacency can be a real safety hazard in the workplace, specifically with equipment maintenance. At ATS, we have a schedule for regular preventive maintenance on all our shop equipment.  A recent find proved how important those checks are.

Lifting equipment, like forklifts, are subject to stresses. So, one of the maintenance checks we perform is a magnetic particle inspection on the forks. (Pretty handy that we have people in-house who are certified to do that!)  During a recent test, a one inch crack (circled in red in the above photo) was found in one of the forks. Left undetected, this crack could have eventually caused the fork to completely fail, or break, which in turn could have resulted in a significant injury or damage to customer parts. Luckily, our friends at Miami Industrial Trucks were able to install a new blade the next day, so our shop experienced minimal disruption.

To help prevent similar damage to lifting equipment in your facility, be sure to use proper lifting techniques.  Anytime a load is being transported, it should be fully up against the mast in order to reduce the bending force exerted on the forks. And if you have concerns about possible damage or cracking, contact us to set up a NDT inspection.