Engineering & Mining Journal

OCT 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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Page 76 of 91

OCTOBER 2018 • E&MJ 75 OPERATING STRATEGIES An ISO standard describes a method of monitoring the actual duty of bridge and gantry cranes relating it to the original duty envisaged in the classifi cation. That then enables the prediction of when design limits are being approached and, in turn, the timely targeting of special inspections, maintenance and refurbishment. The Duty Holder Where does the responsibility lie? In the fi rst instance, of course, with the "duty holder," but there are many other parties that also carry responsibility. Nor does appointing a duty holder let the company's owners and directors off the hook. Safety inevitably car- ries commercial costs, although nothing like the costs of a fatal accident. Even minor in- jury or near misses can also be expensive, depending on the extent of the negligence. Formally, the duty holder's responsi- bilities include: • Ensuring that cranes brought in (bought or hired) are fi t for purpose. • Creating a risk assessment using manu- facturer's data, environmental details, usage information to identify critical or vulnerable components and determine maintenance and inspection intervals. • Ensuring that cranes are maintained, inspected and thoroughly examined to ensure they are safe to use. • Ensuring that they are not unduly sus- ceptible to foreseeable failure modes. • Keeping records of crane use, mainten- ance, inspections, repairs, modifi ca- tions, exceptional events and so on so that the history of the crane and thus its remaining safe life can be deter- mined. The duty holder also has to keep and supply information required so that anyone modifying or upgrading the crane can calculate a revised DWP. • Ensuring that cranes are overhauled or replaced before they reach their DWP. Unless the company is actually a crane specialist itself, the duty holder will proba- bly not have the required level of knowledge to carry out all of the above adequately and so will delegate to persons competent for the required task. But the duty holder is responsible for ensuring that the necessary level of competence is possessed. It shouldn't really need stating, but the duty holder is responsible for ensuring that any remedial actions that are fl agged up — whether they be special inspections, parts replacements, changes in usage — are fully and promptly acted upon. Examiners, Inspectors and Maintenance Staff The "thorough examination" by a "compe- tent person" is carried out in accordance with statutory requirements. Routine in- spections of critical features may be car- ried out in-house, perhaps by mainte- nance staff, to a frequency determined by risk assessment, which they may have been responsible for creating. In accordance with statutory require- ments, a competent person will take into account the age of the crane using actual or estimated information on the DWP ex- pended to decide what actions to take or recommend, from deeper inspections to partial or complete disassembly, or pre- cautionary replacement of parts. But the duty holder needs to realize that, unless specifi cally contracted for, the competent person isn't responsible for assessing how much of the DWP the crane or its compo- nents have remaining. Obviously, records of inspections, actions, and recommenda- tions need to be kept and passed back to the duty holder. Planned and preventative maintenance may reset the DWP clock for particular components or assemblies. Manufacturers, modifi ers and resellers Suppliers have the responsibility of provid- ing all the information necessary for clas- sifi cation and assessing DWP. Modifi ers are responsible for assessing and inform- ing the duty holder of the remaining DWP. Procurement Logically, purchasing should come at the head of the list. Those bringing in, wheth- er buying, hiring, or letting a contract for crane services, have a responsibility for ensuring that the specifi cations they is- sue, and the bids they accept, properly refl ect the likely usage of the crane. Also that it will be able to perform safely un- der all foreseeable conditions of use, for the specifi ed classifi cation of crane duty, as determined by risk assessment. They must ensure that equipment meets, and is marked and documented for, all rele- vant safety requirements and standards. They also bear responsibility for en- suring the safety of bought-in spares and replacement parts, the competence of any contract maintenance or service fi rms, of contracted examiners, of trainers and so on. It is particularly important that pro- curement is not exposed to undue fi nan- cial pressures that might lead to the ac- quisition of equipment underspecifi ed or unsuited to the task. Inspections are Essential In a recent blog post, Michael Hancock, district technical trainer for Finnish crane manufacturer Konecranes, also noted that regularly scheduled crane inspections conducted by specially trained, third-party technical professionals can save compa- nies great expense by preventing accidents and maximizing productivity. It is important to know which types of inspections the equipment needs, because inspection types can vary greatly, accord- ing to Hancock. For example, for a new crane, one that has not been used for sev- eral months, or on that has recently been repaired or replaced a load-bearing item, a load test inspection is recommended. If during daily visual inspections, the crane operator suspects damage to the wire ropes, an in-depth test should be per- formed on the wire rope assemblies. Wire ropes and chains should be inspected at least once per year, or more if directed by the original equipment manufacturer. Annual overhead crane inspections should always include the checking of clutches and brakes as well as the electri- cal and mechanical systems. Basic oper- ational tests can determine if the equip- ment is working as it should. Depending on the age, type and duty cycle of the crane, crane safety author- ities like CMAA, OSHA, ANCI as well as the OEM, may require more intensive inspections, including internal inspec- tions on chain sprockets and non-destruc- tive testing of the crane hooks and gear case components. Crane inspections can verify that equip- ment complies with current local, state and federal standards and laws, helping companies avoid costly fi nes and disrup- tion of operations. Crane inspections can assess the safety of equipment, detect wear and tear, and identify maintenance needs for safe, productive operation. Crane inspections may also include a review of a company's crane records to verify that the company is operating in compliance with regulations. It's benefi cial to establish a work- ing relationship with a provider of crane inspections who will work to develop a comprehensive plan of preventive main- tenance, scheduled repairs and crane modernizations.

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