If you own or manage a business with lots of heavy machinery or potentially dangerous equipment, you need to inspect it on a regular basis to ensure it's working safely and correctly. To track and organize your inspections, you need inspection tags on your equipment. Here are five questions to consider before buying your custom tags.
1. Do the conditions in your factory necessitate certain types of tags?
When shopping for inspection tags, you will find a range of materials. You can save money by using basic card stock tags, you can give the environment a boost by using eco-friendly tags, or you may need to choose inspection tags sheathed in plastic.
In most cases, you need plastic sheathed tags if there is lots of dirt and grease floating in the air in your factory, manufacturing facility or other venue. You can opt for plastic sheaths that allow you to slip the inspection tags in and out of them, or you can opt for plastic coated inspection tags that function like dry-erase boards and can be reused and also wiped clean of dirt and grease as needed.
2. How many spots do you need for inspectors to sign?
In most cases, inspection tags should have a spot for the person who performs the inspection to sign and date. You can purchase tags with a range of blanks and lines based on the frequency of your inspections.
For example, if you inspect your machinery three times a day, you likely need an inspection tag with lots of room to accommodate dozens of inspections. However, if you only inspect that piece of equipment once a week, an inspection tag with just 12 lines on it will last a quarter of a year.
3. What additional information needs to be on your inspection tags?
Inspection verification and tracking is not the only information that can be included on an inspection tag. If you like, you can also include inspection and maintenance check lists on your tags. This information can be printed on the back of the tag while the inspection log is on the front, or it can be posted on an auxiliary tag.
Using checklists makes it more likely that your employees will inspect the machine correctly and not miss any steps, and in many cases, checklists can even save lives. Similarly, you can also include caution or warning signs on your inspection tags or on auxiliary tags hung near your inspection tags.
4. How can you make your inspection tags more noticeable and easier to use?
If you want your inspection tags to be noticeable, they need to be a bright color, and they also need to be attached to the machine in a prominent spot. For example, if the machinery in question needs to be inspected every morning before the operators start using the machine, you could place the tag right next to the power button.
Also, keep in mind that bright colors are more noticeable than dark colors, and if possible, try to keep a pen near the inspection tag so that they are more convenient for your employees to fill out.
5. What is your plan of action if the equipment fails the safety inspection?
In most cases, your equipment will pass its regular safety inspection, but in some cases, it may not. If that happens, you need to have a plan of action. Rather than just buying inspection tags, also consider investing in tags that label the machine as defective or in need of repair.
Ideally, you should have a protocol for operators to follow if the equipment doesn't pass its inspection. For example, they could attach a repair tag, give a paper copy of the repair tag to the right manager and then disable power to the machine. To make that possible, you may need to order a few "repair", "defective" or other types of tags when you order your inspection tags.