Equipment Management Practices

Equipment management is essentially asset management. The aerial adventure products in your inventory are assets for your organization. This equipment is likely the most important asset because it is directly involved in employee and participant safety. A solid equipment management system can serve as the asset and safety management system for your entire organization. Allowing you to track maintenance on vehicles, inspections of the physical activity or aerial adventure course, staff trainings, and a host of other items requiring records. To some, a management system seems like unnecessary administrative work but developing one creates real world value. A management system will:

1. Serve as part of your organizational operating procedures to train your staff and improve the daily efficiency of your operation.
2. Allow cost predictions for periodic replacement of equipment and activity components.
3. Reduce the likelihood of an injury or death due to misuse of equipment or lack of inspection.
4. Demonstrate that your organization utilizes best practices in risk management
5. Ensure compliance with laws and regulation.
6. Show your due diligence should an incident occur and a lawsuit be brought.

A well developed management system should include the components below. This list is not exhaustive and every organization will have to meet specific needs. Remember, whatever service you utilize or system you develop must be both usable and intuitive. Overly complicated systems and procedures fall to the wayside all too quickly. For your management system, outline:

A Method Statement

Sort of like a mission statement for your gear inventory. A brief summary of what you are trying to achieve with your management system and how you are going to achieve it.

The Acquisition Process

How do you purchase equipment? How do you rotate in spare equipment? How do you get approval for equipment purchases?

Approved Suppliers

Who do you buy equipment from?

An Approved Equipment List

What equipment is approved for use in your organization? Be sure to specify alternate options in case a product is unavailable.

The Storage of Notices and Manuals

Where do you store manufacturer provided information and how is it accessed? Manufacturer notices, manuals, and Declarations of Conformity should be available for the end user for the lifetime of the equipment.

Traceability and Marking Standards

How do you mark and label your equipment? What is your schema for unique identifiers that your staff recognize? How are these unique identifiers tied back to product serial numbers?

An Inspection Regime

What types of inspections do you perform and how often do you perform these? What is the maximum period between inspections? What is the process and criteria for the inspections you perform?

Inspection Record Keeping

Who is responsible for inspection records? How are these records stored (digitally or physical copies)? How are records accessed in case of a lawsuit or third party inspection?

A Quarantine Process

What is the process for quarantining an item if a defect is found? Who determines if the item is fit for use, needs repair, or must be destroyed?

A Maintenance Regime

How do you clean and maintain your equipment? What is the schedule for this maintenance? How do you log maintenance?

Recurring Problems and Faults Logs

How do you record defects found and actions taken to address these? When do you look at overall trends in damage or wear?

Storage Methods

How is your equipment stored both daily and seasonally?

A Replacement Schedule

How often you do you replace items in your inventory? What are the lifetimes of certain products?

Training Record Keeping

How are staff trained in the use, care, and inspection of equipment? What is the process to ensure they understand your policies and procedures? How are they trained in the application of your management system?
These days we are all about limiting labor hours, cutting data entry, keeping this digital, storing in the cloud, and ensuring the system is intuitive enough for entry level staff. For our favorite Equipment and Safety Management System, check out our preferred management system Papertrail.


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