Hoistech: 5 Years On


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A Track Record With CheckedOK

downloadSafety improvement remains a key concern in the construction industry. Hoistech, a specialist lifting equipment service, manufacturing and testing company, has been at the forefront of helping their customers to achieve improved safety through the range of services they provide.

hoistech2Part of this has been their use of a system that helps speed up safety checks and improve the ways in which inspecting engineers and equipment users communicate about safety matters, CoreRFID’s CheckedOK.

Hoistech first started using CheckedOK in 2010 and have expanded its use over the subsequent five years. Their experiences demonstrate the value of a CheckedOK installation.

See more in this video:-

 

Safety In Lifting Inspection

Hoistech was founded in 2000. With their sister company Chain and Rope Suppliers which was founded in 1978, have been serving the Irish construction industry for over thirty Seven years providing specialist skills in materials handling and lifting equipment. Chain and Rope Suppliers provides lifting, transport chain slings, wire ropes and restraints for both sales and hire. Hoistech offers bespoke manufacturing and maintenance of Electric Overhead Gantry Cranes. Hoistech Ltd supplies, services and inspects all types of hoists and lifting equipment. At the core of Hoistech’s business is the test and certification of lifting equipment and the provision of breakdown servicing and planned preventative maintenance on the products that it installs. It also provides inspection and maintenance of construction excavators, tele-porters, forklifts and auxiliary plant across all of Hoistech’s customer sites.

Hoistech engineers carry out on - site inspections for their sale and rental customers
Hoistech engineers carry out on-site inspections
for their sale and rental customers.

Hoistech operates under the safety management regime for lifting equipment defined in the Irish Safety Health & Welfare at Work, General Applications Regulations. These are regularly updated, most recently updated in 2013. Under these regulations, the Irish Health & Safety Authority (HSA) requires thorough examinations of lifting equipment every six or twelve months depending on the equipment type. Hoistech carry out these examinations and produce the reports required by the regulations. In 2010, Hoistech introduced the CheckedOK system to help them improve the collection of information on the results of inspections, providing a common way of working across many different asset types and for multiple customers.

A year later Hoistech opened up the system to use by their customers, providing on-line access to reports and inspection certificates. Since then, the system has been expanded to support inspections of personal protective equipment (PPE) and updated to support new ways of working and changes to the HSA legislation. Today the system is used by all of Hoistech’s engineers to manage inspections across over 300,000 assets for 5000 clients. CoreRFID’s CheckedOK solution for Hoistech was designed to simplify the inspecting engineer’s tasks, speed up the collection of information, and improve the accuracy of the data collected. Most recently Hoistech have introduced a feature of the system that automates the reporting of inspection failures. Under this, customers, Hoistech management and (as is required by legislation) the HSA are immediately, automatically, informed by email if a piece of equipment fails inspection, prompting corrective action and subsequent retesting and ensuring that statutory obligations are met.

“We have worked with CheckedOK for 5 years now. It has helped us to improve our business and safety for our customers.”  – Joe Duignan, Managing Director, Hoistech Ltd.

Inspection Management Solution

The CheckedOK inspection system implemented by Hoistech uses RFID technology, mobile computers and the power of the internet to improve the accuracy and efficiency of reporting. Assets needing to be inspected are identified by unique electronic tags. Service engineers use handheld computers which can prompt them with the correct set of inspection for a given asset type. Each asset category has its own set of inspection criteria.

As the service engineer carries out their inspection, the results are recorded, including if relevant, photographs taken with the computers own camera. The handheld computer records the results of the inspection and sends them to a central database (hosted on Hoistech’s behalf by CoreRFID). This is then synchronised with Hoistech’s own asset management system. The CheckedOK database holds a list of each asset by location and the results uploaded are used to produce the standard GA1 Report of Thorough Examination required by the Irish HSA. The database can be accessed by Hoistech management for planning inspections and by Hoistech’s customers.

For example, the system records the time taken for each inspection and generates the next scheduled inspection date after a period of 6 or 12 months depending on the asset type. An important new feature of the system, implemented recently, is the introduction of automatic email reports following an inspection failure. With this feature the system automatically sends the appropriate documentation to the customer, Hoistech management and to the Irish HSA as required by legislation. Each of Hoistech’s customers is able to view data related to the equipment installed on their sites, using the CheckedOK secure web portal. As a result, Hoistech is able to offer better service to their clients, providing them with up to date information about which assets have been inspected and the outcome as well as confirming exactly which assets are at which location.

The CoreRFID Approach

The Hoistech solution uses CoreRFID’s CheckedOK system. CheckedOK is an RFID based safety inspection applications designed, developed and delivered by CoreRFID. The Hoistech solution was adapted to Hoistech’s specific needs as part of the implementation process and over the subsequent years of use. CoreRFID provided the handheld computers used by Hoistech’s engineers together with the integrated RFID readers. CoreRFID also recommended and supplied the RFID tags which are used to identify the assets. CoreRFID carries out training on the system and provides ongoing support for both the application running on the mobile computers and the hosted database and reporting application.

The Benefits

The benefits of the Hoistech CheckedOK inspection system include:-

  • Proven system, in use for over 5 years
  • Fully supported with rapid technical response
  • Reliable hosting with no data loss over the period
  • Evolved to match changing business needs
  • Prompted examination tasks by asset type speeds and simplifies engineers’ work
  • Easy availability of reports to Hoistech customers
  • Automated production and distribution of regulatory inspection reports

 

Read about the original implementation in this case study.