A crane is a machine used for lifting and lowering a load and moving it horizontally, with the hoisting mechanism; an integral part of the machine. Overhead cranes are used in many industries to move heavy and oversized objects that other material handling methods cannot. Overhead crane inspection plays a key role in the life expectancy of the crane.
Overhead cranes have a railed support structure, known as a bridge, and a wheeled trolley that travels across the bridge horizontally. The other primary component of an overhead crane is the hoist, that’s attached to the trolley, and is used to perform the lifts. Several varieties of overhead cranes exist including gantry, semi-gantry, cantilever gantry, storage bridge, and wall cranes.
OSHA regulates overhead crane safety through 29 CFR 1910.179, overhead and gantry cranes. This regulation covers general requirements, design, inspection, maintenance requirements and operations.
Our goal for this article is to break down and summarize these inspection standards and help you understand how you can become OSHA compliant in regards to overhead crane inspection, preventative maintenance, crane repair, and user training.
Osha Inspection Requirements
Due to the large and heavy objects often being transported by overhead cranes, routine inspections are necessary to ensure continued operation and overhead crane safety. An initial inspection of the crane (new or altered) prior to initial use is necessary. Once placed into service, overhead cranes will require two different types of inspections. Frequent inspections are done at daily to monthly intervals, while periodic inspections are completed at monthly to annual intervals. The purpose of the two inspection types is to examine critical components of the crane and to determine the extent of wear, deterioration or malfunction.
|Items to be Inspected||Frequency|
|Functional operating mechanisms for maladjustment||Daily|
|Deterioration or leakage in lines, tanks, valves, drain pumps and other parts of air or hydraulic systems||Daily|
|Hooks with deformation or cracks (visual)||Daily|
|Hooks with deformation or cracks (written record with signature of inspector and date)||Monthly|
|Hoist chains and end connections for excessive wear, twist or distortion interfering with proper function, or stretch beyond manufacturer’s recommendations (visual)||Daily|
|Hoist chains and end connections for excessive wear, twist or distortion interfering with proper function, or stretch beyond manufacturer’s recommendations (written record with signature of inspector and date)||Monthly|
|Running Rope and end connections for wear, broken strands, etc. (written record with signature of inspector, rope identity and date)||Monthly|
|Functional operating mechanisms for excessive wear||Daily to Monthly|
|Rope reeving according to manufacturers’ recommendations||As recommended|
Items to be inspected:
- Deformed, cracked or corroded members
- Loose bolts or rivets
- Cracked or worn sheaves and drums
- Worn, cracked or distorted parts, such as pins, bearings, shafts, gears, rollers, locking and clamping devices.
- Excessive wear on brake-system parts, linings, pawls and ratchets
- Inaccuracies in load, wind and other indicators
- Electric or fossil fuel motors
- Excessive wear of chain drive sprockets and excessive chain stretch
- Deteriorated electrical components, such as pushbuttons, limit switches or contactors
In addition to the initial inspection, OSHA also requires that all new and altered cranes are tested. The operational testing includes the following:
- Hoisting and lowering
- Trolley travel
- Bridge travel
- Limit switches, locking and safety devices
- Trip setting of hoist limit switches
- Load test of not more than 125% of rated load