Proper Crane Inspections Ensure Safety and Productivity

A program of regularly-scheduled crane and hoist inspections conducted by specially-trained, third-party technical professionals can save companies great expense by verifying compliance with local regulations and highlighting safety and production issues.  More frequent routine periodic inspections in lieu of minimum annual periodic inspections can save significant expense by identifying conditions that are likely to cause production downtime.  In addition to safety and production benefits, the repair cost of found deficiencies can be spread throughout the year.

It is important to know which types of inspections your equipment requires because the scope can vary greatly based upon the trigger. For example, if you have a new crane or one that has not been used for many months, or if you have recently repaired or replaced a load-bearing item, a proof load test in addition to the inspection might be required.  If during daily visual inspections, the crane operator suspects damage to the wire ropes, an in-depth test should be performed on the wire rope assembly. Wire ropes and chains must be inspected at least monthly as required by OSHA, or more if directed by the OEM.  

OSHA and ANSI both require documented Periodic (Hands-On) Inspections with a frequency based on the usage, environment, and condition of the crane as well as the requirements of the OEM.  We recommend Periodic Inspections at minimum twice a year on lightly used equipment in highly servable condition.  Where the usage is heavy, the equipment is older or the environment is harsh, we recommend that the periodic inspection is performed at least quarterly or monthly.  Frequent (Visual and Operational) inspections must be performed and documented monthly in conjunction with a periodic inspection on all cranes by a qualified individual.  An operator/shift inspection must be performed daily by a trained operator familiar with the piece of equipment.  With all inspections, any deficiency in the condition or operation of the equipment that constitutes a hazard must be brought to the attention of the designated individual and the crane placed out of service until repairs can be performed.

Periodic overhead crane inspections should always include a visual examination of structures, brakes as well as the electrical and mechanical systems. Basic operational checks can determine if the equipment is working as it should.  Depending on the age, type and duty cycle of the crane, crane safety standards and regulations like CMAA, OSHA, ANSI as well as the OEM, may require more intensive inspections--including internal inspections on chain sprockets and non-destructive testing of the crane hooks and gear case components.  Crane inspections can verify that equipment complies with current local, state and federal standards and laws, helping companies avoid costly fines and disruption of operations. Crane inspections can assess the safety of equipment, detect wear and tear and identify maintenance needs for safe, productive operation.  Crane inspections may also include a review of a company’s crane records to verify that the company is operating in compliance with regulations.

It’s beneficial to establish a working relationship with a qualified inspection and service provider of cranes who will work with you to develop a comprehensive plan of preventive maintenance, scheduled repairs, and crane modernizations. With a coordinated program, companies can more effectively maintain a safe, fully functional, reliable and compliant operation.

Using a single service provider for crane inspections and preventive maintenance elevates the process to a higher level of effectiveness and value. For example, CRANE 1 offers service programs tailored to the customer's operations. The INSPEC Maintenance Program has been designed to improve equipment safety and productivity through the systematic application of preventive maintenance inspections, routine maintenance, and asset management systems,