Man driving a forklift

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If your business is in the heavy-lifting industry then you will know just how important the quality of your equipment is, not just for the safety of your employees and the protection of your assets – but also for meeting industry regulations.

Unsafe equipment could mean your company is failing to meet government standards, make you liable for the injuries and accidents of your employees and result in inefficient and ineffective operational processes.

That’s why tests and inspections are so important when it comes to ensuring that your equipment is safe. One such test for your equipment is the proof load test.

What is a proof load test?

Proof load tests can be performed on various pieces of lifting and rigging equipment, and are designed to ensure that the piece of machinery being tested is able to lift the design load without failure or deformation (yeliding).

Typically performed as a static pull test, the proof load test is considered a complementary test that provides structural and safety assurances.

In most cases a proof load test is performed by applying force for a specific time, generally ranging from between 1.1 to 1.5 times of the design load or maximum allowable working load (MAWL).

Proof load tests are generally carried out on the following equipment:

  1. Overhead cranes and supporting runways
  2. Patient hoists
  3. Motor vehicle lifts
  4. Building cleaning cradle and suspension equipment
  5. Goods and passenger lifts
  6. Telehandlers and forklifts
  7. Lifting accessories
  8. Chain blocks
  9. Web slings

When should my business perform a proof load test?

The proof load test is performed to meet a number of standards set out by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Generally, a proof load test is performed on a new unit to confirm it is ready and safe for service or on an existing piece of equipment to ensure it is operating as it should be.

To avoid accidents and to keep your heavy lifting equipment running efficiently it’s important to undergo inspections and tests on a regular basis. This will ensure your machinery is ready to use and is operating at its optimum level.

In general, most heavy lifting equipment should be tested every 12 months to ensure it is safe and working properly. This testing should be undergone by a qualified and professional person who has the skills and experience needed to spot any defects or issues.

This doesn’t just include proof load testing either. Other inspections should include weld inspections, visual inspections, structural checks, magnetic particle inspection, non-destructive testing and more.

Not sure if you are doing your proof load testing and other inspections properly and regularly enough? Contact Sparta Engineering today for expert advice on how to inspect your equipment properly.