Category Archives: Safety

Taking Advantage of Summer Downtime with Equipment Inspections

While we’ve been seeing a surge in business over the past several years, summer tends to be a time when our customers need their equipment inspected . It’s a great time to consider scheduling field inspections over the next couple of months to make sure your equipment is in top shape.

Lately, we’ve been getting a lot of calls for field inspections due to equipment breakdowns and failures. While this is obviously a good reason to get things checked out, it’s a much better idea to get heavy equipment inspected before a breakdown occurs. Otherwise, your facility may be at a standstill during a peak season later on.

Hunter Lift Equipment
Lifting Device Inspections

We perform field inspection services for lifting devices for  all industries regularly. For all customers  we create a database to keep track of each lifting device so that nothing falls through the cracks. Depending on the use of the lifting device, we’ll classify each as Severe Service, Heavy Service, and Normal Service.

To properly inspect each device, we provide non-destructive testing on welds and ultrasonic testing on high stressed components in addition to general operational and visual testing and observations. The inspections are performed by engineers and a Level II technician from Hunter Lift. Generally one of our 3 to 4 member teams can inspect approximately 100 to 300 devices per day.

Once the inspections are complete, we’ll provide a final report based on the findings for each device, which includes photographs of the overall device and photographs of any damage. In addition a customer ID is set up for each device for future reference. Chronic problems and failures of equipment will be eliminated through identification and redesign of equipment components.

To learn more about our inspection services and capabilities, feel free to request information via our online form. You can also call us at 800-231-6501 to speak with a representative.

A Custom Below the Hook Lifter Designed by Hunter Lift is Doing its Job and Taking on Some ‘Heavy Stuff’ at a Fusion Power Generation Project

We wanted to tell you a little bit about our involvement in a New Mexico fusion power generation project. First, let’s define “fusion”: The simple definition of “fusion” is “a combination or mixture of things.” The dictionary also provides a more scientific definition: “the union of atomic nuclei to form heavier nuclei resulting in the release of enormous quantities of energy when certain light elements unite.”

“Fusion power offers the prospect of an almost inexhaustible source of energy for future generations,” according to the World Nuclear Association. “But it also presents so far insurmountable scientific and engineering challenges.”  At Hunter Lift, we welcome all types of “engineering challenges,” so we were honored to have been selected to design and build a custom lift for this fusion project, which could greatly impact the future.

Here’s a summary of what we did: Hunter Lift designed and built a custom below-the-hook lifter that is used to insert a gamma ray detector to detect fusion. Usually, we design lifters capable of lifting up to 300,000 lbs. or so. But this time we designed a below the hook lift capable of handling light loads – from 500 to 1000 lbs.! This specific lift is being used as part of an ignition experiment.

According to government sources, the main goal of ignition experiments is “to create self-sustaining ‘burn’ of fusion fuel (the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium) that produces as much or more energy than the energy required to initiate the fusion reaction – an event called ignition.” Hunter Lift designed and built a CSA rigging fixture that lowers a sensor assembly into a unit where fusion occurs to measure and detect gamma rays emitted during the experiments. (Now, that’s what we mean by “heavy stuff”!)

This is just one example of the many types of lifts we’ve designed for our customers. To learn more about other lifts Hunter Lift has designed and built, visit our website, or give us a call at 800-231-6501.

The Beginning of the Year is the Ideal Time to Re-Analyze Your Safety Procedures

‘Safety first’ goes the mantra so the first month of a new year is the right time to look over, and re-evaluate procedures, ensure that all equipment inspections are up to date, and offer safety training. Many companies involved in material handling operations utilize lifting equipment and devices but may overlook the importance of maintenance and certifications. It is extremely important that this equipment is inspected to ensure the safety of workers and facilities and that all workers are aware of safety procedures to reduce injury.

For workers, reviewing safety procedures starts the year off in the
right direction. Many workplace injuries occur because of improper lifting. Reviewing proper lifting practices and ergonomic training will help protect against back related and other injuries.

For equipment, performing annual, semi-annual, or quarterly inspections will ensure that lifting devices are safe and functioning properly. Poorly maintained devices are also extremely hazardous for workers and create unsafe working conditions. For employees to be safe the equipment and the guidelines for safe use must be strictly adhered to.

The following lists ways that employers can reduce risks of workplace injury when material handling devices are used:

  • Ensure routine maintenance and preventative maintenance measures are completed to ensure properly working equipment
  • Issue guidelines for load limits and train employees on proper material handling procedures
  • Train employees on correctly securing loads and understanding safe loading and unloading procedures

To help employers in maintaining equipment, Hunter Lift performs inspection services for lifting devices. This service enables us to examine equipment within its working environment and verify that all certifications are in order. Field inspections follow all certification standards, such as ASME, and include a final report detailing inspection findings and recommendations.

The importance of safety cannot be understated. Following best practices for safety include both workers and equipment and must be a standard for safe working conditions.

Contact Hunter Lift to learn more about our products and services.

Preventing, Identifying, and Repairing Cracks in Lifting Equipment

When your business relies upon lifting equipment, it goes without saying that that equipment must be working optimally at all times. There’s no such thing as good enough. But the fact is, with all machinery, problems can arise.

One of the most common problems found within lifting equipment is cracks in the components and welds. When cracks go undetected, propagation occurs quickly, and is always followed by failure.

When this occurs, what started as a small crack ends in disaster.

So why does this happen? First, it’s important to remember that even the best, highest quality lifting equipment is usually subject to significant wear and tear. This machinery is often used in extreme environments with harsh, fluctuating temperatures, corrosive agents, very heavy and unpredictable loads, and unforgiving natural elements. Eventually, these conditions can get the best of any equipment.

Another important factor to keep in mind is that up to 80% of equipment failures are due to improper use and lack of maintenance. After all, these machines are being used by people, and people, no matter how qualified, are not infallible.

The best way to address the environmental and human error factors is through preventative maintenance. Be sure that your personnel  are familiar with ASME Standards related to lifting equipment. This will not only ensure safety but involve careful inspections for cracks, deformations, etc. Have a qualified member of your team inspect the equipment according to these standards.  He or she will be able to identify a small problem before it becomes a big one.

Should you find that your equipment is cracked or damaged, there’s often no need to replace it. Instead, reverse engineering offers an effective, economical, and efficient alternative, replacing the part quickly and getting it back up and running.

While no equipment on earth is guaranteed to last forever without ever experiencing a problem, there are plenty of ways to avoid catastrophe. Start with the best equipment available, then inspect and maintain it regularly. Finally, when issues do arise, have a qualified expert repair it right away.

If you’ve got a question about your equipment or need repairs, contact us anytime for help and advice.

Get to Know the Lifting Device Safety Inspection Requirements

Quality is, of course, the number one factor in lifting equipment—the tough jobs you need done depend on the quality of your equipment. But it’s not everything.

Of utmost importance is the safety: equipment that is
designed with safety in mind, and, just as importantly, operating under safe conditions at all times.

The ASME B30.20 Standard—the Below-the-Hook Lifting Device Safety Standard—requires several types of inspections in order to maintain the safety, and it’s crucial that these inspections are performed. All devices are required to undergo the following inspections:

1) Every Lift Inspection
Each and every inspection must include a visual examination to be performed by the equipment operator, which includes looking for damage, verifying the condition and operation of controls, and verifying the condition and operation of indicators and meters when installed.

2) Frequent Inspection
A visual examination must frequently be performed by the operator or other designated persons, with records not required. Normal service devices should undergo this inspection weekly to monthly, and heavy service devices must undergo this inspection daily to weekly. Frequent inspections must include inspection of structural members for deformation, cracks, excessive wear of any part, and loose or missing guards, fasteners, covers, stops, or nameplates. Additionally, operational mechanisms should be checked.

3) Periodic Inspection
A periodic inspection must be performed and recorded, and include a visual inspection of loose bolts and fasteners, and cracked or worn gears, pulleys, sheaves, sprockets, bearings, chains, and belts. Also, excessive wear of friction pads, linkages, mechanical parts, and missing safety labels should be checked. A periodic inspection must be performed annually for normal service equipment, semiannually for heavy service equipment, and quarterly for severe service equipment.

Be sure all relevant personnel are familiar with these requirements and always put safety at the forefront of everything you do.