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Frequently Asked Questions About Crane Inspections

Why do I have to have my overhead cranes and hoists inspected?

Four Simple Answers

Increased Human Safety: Having your "Frequent" and "Periodic" Inspections completed on a regular basis will most definitely provide a safer and more productive environment for your employees. Hoosier Crane meets or exceeds the ASME B30, OSHA, NEC and other specified requirements for crane inspections.

It is a Requirement: OSHA 1910.179 requires both a "Frequent" and "Periodic" Inspection be done on your crane and hoist equipment. OSHA will also incorporate by reference the ASME, ANSI, NEC and other industry standards.

Liability: Inspections performed by a trained and qualified inspector will reduce your exposure to accidents and equipment failures. Can you afford the legal fees and insurance premiums if someone gets hurt and 1.) the inspections were never performed and/or 2.) the inspections were performed by someone that was not qualified to do the inspections correctly?

Equipment Reliability: If you are performing inspections "Frequently" and "Periodically" your equipment will undoubtedly break down less and also insure increased productivity. As noted in a study of the Process Industry, "You can expect a reduction between 60%-95% of your crane and hoist safety related defects in the first year if you have your overhead cranes and hoists inspected regularly." Hoosier Crane utilizes a predictive maintenance type inspection program that will substantially increase the reliability of your equipment.

How often do I need to have my overhead crane inspected?

OSHA 1910.179 breaks the inspections into two categories. "Frequent" & "Periodic"

Frequent Inspections: Daily to monthly intervals. (Visual and Operational Type)

  • Hooks, Hoist Chains, Wire Ropes and all functional operating mechanisms formal adjustment need to be checked daily. This is normally performed by the operator.
  • The Hooks, Hoist Chains and Wire Ropes need to also be more thoroughly inspected and documented on a monthly basis.

Periodic Inspections: Monthly to yearly intervals.(Complete Visual & Operational Type)

  • Normal service - annually
  • Heavy service - semi-annually (Heavy service is use at 80 to 100% of rated load or in excess of 10 lift cycles per hour as a normal procedure.)
  • Severe service - quarterly (Severe service is use at normal and/or heavy use in an abnormal environment such as high or low ambient temperatures, exposure to adverse weather, corrosive fumes, dust or moisture laden atmospheres, & hazardous environments A designated and qualified person shall determine whether conditions found during the inspection constitute a hazard and whether disassembly is required for additional inspection.

What are the qualifications to inspect over head cranes and hoists?

First let's define a Crane Inspector.

A Crane Inspector is any person engaging in the testing, examination, and/or inspection of cranes, including, top running types, under running types, single girder or double girder types and the hoisting equipment associated with the cranes.

Now the Qualifications.

Experience: A crane inspector, according to CMAA, shall have at least 2,000 field hours of experience directly related to the maintenance, servicing, repairing, modifying and functional testing of cranes and the hoist equipment. CMAA also notes that under no circumstances should an individual be permitted to perform inspections who has not received appropriate training and does not have knowledge of the applicable codes and regulations of the equipment to be inspected.

Required Training: The inspector should have formal training in the areas of: safety and design codes that are related to overhead cranes; Federal, State and local codes and standards; safe operating practices of cranes and hoists; understanding of how to write a report and documentation procedures; and understand the crane and hoist terminology to better communicate.

The words "should" and "shall" are used throughout the codes and standards. The inspector shall receive training to understand the meaning of these words and be able to accurately explain if a corrective action is mandatory (shall) or is voluntary (should).

What does the standard say about load testing my overhead cranes?

Current specifications regarding the load tests of Overhead Crane Systems

ANSI B30.11 requires the following:

11-2.2.2 Rated Load Test: (a) Prior to initial use, all new, extensively repaired, and altered equipment shall be tested and inspected by, or under the direction of, an appointed or authorized person, and a written report should be furnished by such person, confirming the load rating of the system. The load rating should no be more than 80% of the maximum load sustained during the test.

OSHA 1910.179 Paragraph K2 states the following:

Rated load test: Test loads shall not be more than 125% of the rated load unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer. The test reports shall be placed on file where readily available to appointed personnel.

Definitions

Hoist: A machinery unit that is used for lifting and lowering a load.
Crane: A bridging structure that spans two or more runways and provides traversing motion.
Runway: The rails, beams, brackets and framework on which the crane operates.

Conclusion

It is Hoosier Crane's opinion, that it is the owners responsibility to load test the overhead bridge crane system. The "system" consists of the hoist, crane, runways, columns and footings. To test the "system", requires that the full system be in place and therefore must occur after the completion of the crane installation. Although it is a hoist industry practice to load test every hoist prior to shipping, this practice does not preclude the requirement for the full load testing upon commissioning of the full hoist, crane and runway system.