Crane and Load Inspections:

The Importance of Meeting OSHA Requirements

At Americrane & Hoist Corporation we believe that every day should be a safe day, no matter the work you do. But when employees regularly operate heavy machinery, safety takes on a greater urgency. Regular equipment inspections ensure that hoist parts, cranes, clamps and other components are in compliance with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration’s (OSHA) high safety standards.

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When parts are in good working order they can also add to productivity and overall output. Here at Americrane & Hoist Corporation we offer OSHA inspections, training classes for operator safety, and maintenance inspections so we are keyed into the topic. Let’s explore a bit more about inspections and why they’re so vital.

Why Inspections are Necessary

Owning a new crane can bring a new level of capability to your business. It also brings fresh safety concerns. While you might know that crane’s capabilities inside and out, your radar may not be as finely tuned when it comes to spotting potential trouble or weakness. And that’s ok – our inspectors are here for a reason. That's where we can help.

But beyond actually doing these regular inspections, documentation is key too, as it shows outside parties, employees, your insurance company and OSHA that you are proactive about facility safety, come what may. Doing all you can to improve safety upfront will always pay dividends in peace of mind and possible protection from liability. And when equipment is humming along in top shape, output and productivity can only benefit.

Types of Inspections

OSHA requires that active cranes be inspected annually, and these regular checks are the best way to spot potential problems before they get out of hand. You wouldn’t want a breakdown or a dangerous failure to put your team or company at risk – inspections ensure that you’re doing your part to prevent worst-case from becoming a reality. And you can also avoid expensive repairs and lengthy production delays.

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) includes four categories for overhead crane inspections, and we’ll dive into them, one by one.

- Initial Inspection

Any time a major piece of equipment is brought into a workplace or reinstalled after alteration, repair, or any modification, an initial inspection must be done. This thorough check is a well-documented visual inspection and it will tell you whether the crane is working as it should and is safe to operate. The inspection will also be able to confirm whether the load rating of the system is accurate. This must be done before using the crane.

- Functional Test Inspection

This is a daily inspection that should happen before each shift. You’ll want to test the crane’s functionality by assessing operating mechanisms and looking for any noticeable deterioration or leakage, or excessive component wear. OSHA guidelines prescribe this daily once-over to ensure that preventable and dangerous failures can be avoided. Daily checks for excessive wear and tear on hoist chains along with deformed or cracked hooks will require an additional monthly inspection with a certification record. Rope reeving must also be checked for compliance with manufacturer’s recommendations daily or monthly.

- Frequent Inspection

This type of inspection builds on the daily check while peering a little deeper into the operating mechanisms. Particular attention should be paid to the hoist brake, wire rope, hook and latch, air or hydraulic system, and load chain, in addition to listening for odd noises. Frequency of this type of inspection will depend on the usage level of your crane. Heavy use dictates weekly or monthly inspections, whereas normal use could be less often, and severe use far more often, even daily. Basic documentation will let operators know that the machinery is safe to use prior to each shift, but no special record is kept.

- Periodic Inspection

After some time in use, machinery can take a beating. The regular wear can degrade key components and start to compromise safety of operations. Periodic inspections are done based on equipment workload, either yearly or quarterly, checking for obviously worn, broken, loose, cracked or corroded components and worn braking systems. It will also ensure that loads are appropriate and that safety guidelines are being followed. If machinery is not in very regular use, every six months is a general inspection guideline to follow.

Keeping to OSHA’s strict guidelines will take some forethought and a determined commitment to safety. It will also be an investment in your employees and your company. Whatever you spend to ensure that you’ve done your due diligence is worth it, and is far less than a lawsuit or the pressing personal weight of a preventable accident or tragedy.

But what’s almost as problematic as not doing inspections, is having them done by an unqualified individual. It gives the illusion of safety but without the assurance that every box is checked, every precaution taken. That’s why who you choose to handle your company’s equipment inspections is so important.

Who Should Conduct Crane Inspections?

The Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) sets the rules here, and they mandate that in order to be qualified, a crane inspector should have 2,000+ hours of field experience. That time must be directly related to maintenance, service, repair, modification, and functional testing of any and all crane components and hoist parts. A qualified inspector would also need to have practical knowledge of any applicable federal, state, and local codes along with safety and design specifications. They should understand equipment regulations and have formal training in safe operating procedures, written documentation protocols, and equipment terminology.

All these areas of knowledge and expertise combine to allow a qualified inspector to not just diagnose problems and confirm safety, but also effectively communicate with company owners and technicians. When you are looking for an inspector to check your crane or hoist parts, you’ll want to know that safety, honesty, and reliability are mainstays in their arsenal.

Choose The Crane and Hoist Experts

At Americrane & Hoist Corporation we are qualified to offer OSHA inspections and are always centered on safety. If you would like to ensure that your operators are using your equipment safely we can help there too, with our operator safety training classes. We also offer all the parts and products you could need to make repairs and update your cranes and hoists. And we are ready to stand behind our work – we’ll always be around to help when you need us.

If you’re in need of OSHA-certified inspections, would like to know more about our training courses, or have general questions about the services we provide, please reach out! Send us an email or submit an online contact form and we will get back to you soon. We look forward to working with you and helping you to put safety first.

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