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Essentials of Safety: Below The Hook

We use below-the-hook lifting devices often, but are the devices we're using OSHA and ASME compliant? We at Hoosier Crane work hard to make sure our devices are compliant with OSHA and ASME standards. We also make sure our people are well trained and safety conscious. We want to make sure everyone who uses these devices is aware of the basic standards to help keep everyone safe.

There are two main standards that everyone should know when it comes to below-the-hook lifting devices


ASME B30.20

According to the ASME website "This standard addresses structural and mechanical lifting devices, vacuum lifting devices, operated close proximity lifting magnets, remotely operated lifting magnets, and scrap and material handling grapples. It offers comprehensive solutions applying to the marking, construction, installation, inspection, testing, maintenance, and operation of equipment used for attaching loads to a hoist. It is to be used in conjunction with equipment described in other volumes of the ASME B30 series of safety standards. Careful application of these B30 standards will help users to comply with pertinent regulations within their jurisdictions, while achieving the operational and safety benefits to be gained from the many industry best-practices detailed in these volumes"


According to the ASME website "Addresses Design of below-the-hook lifting devices-providing minimum structural and mechanical design and electrical component selection criteria for ASME B30.20 below-the-hook lifting devices"

For the most part, if you understand these two standards and make sure your lifting device is properly marked and tagged in accordance with industry guidelines, you will be in good shape when it comes to making sure your below-the-hook lifting devices are OSHA and ASME compliant.


Rated Load Markings: You must make sure any lifting device you are using has the rated load marked legibly on the device itself, or on a tag that is attached to the device. If the lifting device is comprised of several different lifters, each detachable from the group, then each individual lifter should also be marked with the individual rated loads.

Identification Tags:  A nameplate or other permanent tag must be attached to the lifting device. It should include the manufacturer's name, serial number, lifter weight,(if over 100 lbs)rated load, rated voltage,( if applicable) ASME design category, and ASME service class.Inspection Requirements

As with any device regular inspections and proper inspection records are critical, especially if you want to be compliant with OSHA and ASME standards.  

According to ASME B30.20 below-the -hook lifting devices need three regular inspection frequencies

1) Before and during each lift: The operator should inspect the device before using it and during the lift to make sure it is working properly 

2) Frequent Inspection: Visual inspections by the operator and other designated personnel. ( Monthly for normal service, Weekly for heavy service, Daily for severe service) 

3) Periodic Inspection: Visual inspection by a qualified inspector. Records should be kept of these inspections to help with ongoing evaluations.(Yearly for normal service, semi-annually for heavy service, and Quarterly for severe use)