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Are Your Chains OSHA Compliant?

Forks and chains lift thousands of pounds each shift and unchecked wear on either can cause a load to come crashing to the ground. Forklift chains endure tremendous stress during operation and are subject to additional damage and wear by environmental conditions such as dust, rain and industrial chemicals. This can result in severe damage to property, or even the death of an employee. That’s one reason OSHA requires a daily inspection of each lift truck in operation. Below are some specific areas to inspect to help ensure chains are in safe operating order:

  • Chain Elongation
    • Elongation of more than 3 percent indicates a 15 percent reduction in strength and means the chain should be replaced.
  • Rust & Corrosion
    • Chains showing any rust or corrosion should be replaced. For maximum protection, chains must be completely lubricated at all times.
  • Plate Cracking
    • Inspect closely for cracks. The discovery of any crack means the chain should be replaced before the forklift is put back into service.
  • Protruding or Turned Pins
    • Lack of lubrication results in friction between the plates and the pin, causing the pins to twist and turn their way out of place. The result is chain failure.
  • Misalignment
    • Look for wear patterns on pinheads or outside plates. Continued operation will result in damage to the chain and sheaves, potentially causing the chain to fail.
  • Chain Anchors & Sheaves
    • Inspect anchors for misalignment, damage or undue wear. Anchors with worn or broken fingers must be replaced.

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