Chain pulley blocks are used for both heavy lifting and moving in various manufacturing and operations facilities. As they are operated manually by hand, inspecting your chain pulley blocks before use is an integral part of your daily maintenance procedure.

Conveyer system

Why is pre-inspection important?

Pre-inspection of chain pulley blocks is important to prevent any injury to the operating personnel – or any damage to the equipment being lifted or moved.

Proper daily pre-inspection can lead to maximum work efficiency and long life of your manual chain hoist.

How do you perform the pre-inspection?

As a hoist operator, here are the parts you must inspect as part of the pre-inspection procedure – before using any chain pulley block.

1. Name plate

First, check if the name plate is securely attached to your chain pulley block. The name plate contains vital information such as rated capacity or allowable load – that must be easy to read for any operator. Discard (or replace) your block if the name plate is disfigured and load-related information is hard to read.

2. hooks

The hooks and latches are the key component of any chain pulley block. Check each hook and latch to see if:

  • The hook latch is securely attached to the device.
  • The hook latch is functioning smoothly and efficiently.
  • The chain hook is rotating freely without any hindrance.
  • The chain hook does not have gouges, nicks, or any form of deformation.
  • The chain hook is not deformed due to exposure to extreme heat.

Every chain hook has a recommended rated load depending on its dimension. Replace the chain hook when its dimensions are beyond the maximum permissible limits. For example, here is the rated load capacity and allowable dimension of the hook opening for the Kito M3CB type of chain pulley block:

Rated Load (in tons) Dimension reference (in mm)
0.5 45
1 49
1.5 56
2 60
2.5 64
3 69
5 78

3. Chains

The next part that you need to inspect is the load chain (used to lift the load) and the hand chain (used by the operator). Both these chains must be in prime condition for the safe and smooth functioning of your chain pulley block.

Here is what you need to check:

  • If any of the chain links are twisted, stretched, or deformed in any way?
  • If there is any severe corrosion on the entire chain?
  • If there are any scratches or gouges on the chain – or any discoloration caused due to exposure to extreme heat?
  • If the chains have been properly lubricated?

Any such damage to the chain – either due to overloading or poor maintenance – can cause your chain to break during operations. In addition, for the hoist with 2 or more chain falls, please make sure to check for any chain twists – by looking at the chain hoist from below. If the chain has been twisted, it is most likely that your bottom chain hook has been flipped over. In this case, flip it again to fix it to its normal position.

4. Hoist Body

Next, you need to check the external appearance of your chain hoist body. Major defects in the hoist body can lead to its parts falling off during lifting – or even dropping of heavy loads.

Here is what you need to inspect:

  • If your hoist body has any major dents or deformations caused due to excessive use or loads?
  • If there is any rusted part on your hoist – caused due to exposure to rain or moisture?
  • If any of the nuts or bolts in your hoist are loose, displaced, or missing?

After inspection

Once you have completed the pre-inspection of your chain hoist, check for the normal functioning of your hoist in the following ways:

  • Ensure that there is a “clicking” sound in your chain pulley block when manually lifting the chain.
  • Check if the pull force on your chain is normal – and you do not need to apply additional strength to pull up any load.
  • Your lifted load maintains the same height or position – once the hand chain operation is stopped.

If any of these functionalities are not working properly, your chain hoist could be having some internal abnormalities. Here is what you need to do to avoid any accidents which could happen due to the hoist malfunction:

  • Discontinue the use of your equipment with immediate effect.
  • Mark your chain hoist with an appropriate label or tag indicating its current unavailability. This is to ensure that no other chain operator accidentally picks up and starts using the defective hoist.
  • Raise a service maintenance ticket immediately – so that the service or maintenance engineer can attend to the defective equipment.

Lastly, ensure that these pre-inspection procedures are known to every chain hoist operator in your facility – to ensure safety of all your workers and get maximum productivity.

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