Inspection Requirements for Crane Safety
Because cranes are used to lift and transport large, heavy loads of materials, they must be routinely inspected in order to ensure continued safe operation. Whether a crane is new or has been altered, an initial inspection is required. Once a crane is placed into service, two different types of inspections are required – “frequent” or “periodic.”
These are broken down as follows.
Frequent inspections are done on a daily basis while others are once monthly. Daily inspections usually include checking for the following:
- air or hydraulic system deterioration or leakage (drain pumps, lines, tanks, valves)
- end connections and hoist chains for distortion that interferes with normal function, excessive wear, stretching beyond manufacturer’s spec’s., etc. (visual inspection)
- end connections and running rope for broken strands, wear, etc. (written record with date, rope identity, and signature of inspector)
- hooks with cracks or deformation (visual inspection)
- maladjustments of functional operating mechanisms
Monthly inspections include checking for:
- broken strands, wear, etc. in end connections and running rope for (dated, written record with inspector’s signature is required)
- cracks or deformations in hooks (dated, written record with inspector’s signature is required)
- distortion that interferes with normal function, excessive wear, stretching beyond manufacturer’s spec’s., etc. in end connections and hoist chains for (dated, written record with inspector’s signature is required)
In addition to the above, daily to monthly inspections are required for excessive wear of functional operating mechanisms. Additionally, manufacturer’s specifications for rope reeving should be inspected as recommended. You need to ensure that your gantries that are used in your business are deemed safe at all times so that employees are secure and safe when they use it.
Periodic inspections are completed at annual or monthly intervals. Items that should be inspected periodically include:
- corroded, cracked, or deformed members
- cracked or worn drums and sheaves
- cracked, distorted, or worn parts including bearings, clamping and locking devices, gears, pins, rollers, and shafts
- deteriorated contractors, limit switches, pushbuttons, and other electrical components
- electric or fuel motors
- excessive chain drive sprocket stretch and wear
- excessive wear of brake system components including linings, pawls, and ratchets
- load, wind, and other inaccuracy indicators
- loose bolts and rivets
Furthermore, OSHA requires testing bridge and trolley travel, hoist limit switches (trip setting), hoisting and lowering, limit switches, locks, and other safety devices, load testing (maximum 125% of rated loads) on new and altered cranes.
Preventative Maintenance Programs
These programs should be based and implemented according the crane manufacturer’s specifications. A crane cannot be used if any unsafe condition or deteriorated parts and components are detected. Repairs and required maintenance must be performed by designated personnel. Please see OSHA 29 CFR 1910.147 for further information.