Does Having New Gear Mean It's Perfect?

Everyone loves new stuff... who doesn’t? The real question to ask, though, is if the new stuff perfect? Well, it is new so that should mean it’s perfect. Sadly, that assumption may not be the smart one. Every time you receive new equipment you should take the time to inspect it. According to 2015 Top Professional Trainer, Jeff Ellis, “In my career I’ve seen 80% of new slings pass a good initial inspection process, leaving about a 20% issue rate.”

Here are some of the issues you need to watch out for when receiving new items: equipment not properly marked, receiving equipment that you did not order, and damaged product.

As mentioned in our previous blog post Less Assuming, More Doing, equipment not properly marked can be a life threatening mistake. For example, you receive a brand new sling and assume that because it is new, it’s a perfect sling. A rigger grabs the sling that is nylon, although you ordered polyester, but it’s not properly labeled. He uses the nylon sling around acid based vapors and makes a critical crane lift. Because the sling is nylon, the acidic vapors will eat right through the material which could cause the load to drop. Remember ASME and OSHA require that all slings are properly labeled - ASME b30.9-5.7.1(d) and OSHA 1910.184(I)(1)

Receiving equipment you did not order

You order and receive 25 6’ web slings in the package. You assume that it's perfect and exactly what you ordered. They have tags stating that they are 6’ so they’re good. Not taking them out of the box is a mistake. Just because that tag states they are 6’ doesn’t mean they are 6’, so you need to pull them out of the box and measure each one. If you happen to find one that is not 6’, this is the perfect time to call the company you ordered from and have them replace it. It’s better to find this out now instead of when it’s too late to return them.

The new product is damaged

Seems odd that brand new product would be damaged, but it can and does happen, whether it’s manufacturer or human error. For example, your shipment comes into receiving. Because no one knows what’s in the box, it is opened with a razor knife that accidentally cuts thru the plastic packaging and into the synthetic sling. The slight cut gets ignored and the sling moves on to the rigger which then sends the sling to the floor. Even though it is new, the sling has already been compromised before being used and will introduce unnecessary risk into the workplace.

As you can see brand new gear is not always perfect, whether it's manufacturer or human error. Always take your equipment seriously and inspect new gear before sending it to the floor. If you would like to learn more about job site safety check out our safety videos on YouTube.

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