If you use an overhead crane to lift materials on a construction site, you need to make sure that it is in good condition and safe to use. This means that the crane needs to be inspected on a regular basis by a certified crane inspector.
What the Regulations Say
Labor safety is regulated by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). This government body issues codes and standards for each pertinent aspect of the daily activities in all industries.
With respect to overhead cranes, the relevant standard is OSHA 1970.179, which regulates the daily inspection of the equipment before being used. The series of checks have the purpose to confirm that the overhead crane:
- Is in good working condition
- Has not been tampered with
- Has all system working at their nominal capacity.
When is an Overhead Crane Inspection Performed?
According to OSHA, each crane on the construction site must be inspected at the beginning and end of every shift. The operator must not go into the cabin and start up the equipment before performing the checks, if they are also certified as crane inspector, or receiving the designated inspector’s approval.
The inspection at the end of the shift has the purpose to note potential impending failures and malfunctions, as well as signs of wear and tear. This type of preventive inspection is useful for the company, as well. The sooner they notice signs of damage, the simpler and less expensive the repair works will be.
What Are the Aspects Covered by Overhead Crane Inspection?
The crane inspector will start by performing an area checkout. This is not an inspection of the crane per se, but it is very important for the safe operation of the equipment. It involves:
- Ensuring that the loaded materials will travel without impediments
- Making sure that other workers do not perform activities in the proximity of the crane
- Checking that no warning signs or lights are flashing on the equipment
- Checking that the load capacity of the crane does not exceed its rated capacity.
Once this step is completed, the inspector will perform the actual checkup of the equipment, involving:
- Preliminary Checkout
The inspector performs a visual checkout of the crane, looking for:
- Loose, broken or damaged parts
- Wires pulled from strain reliefs or bushings
- Signs that the push buttons may be damaged
- Kinks and twists in the bottom block.
- Powered Systems Checkout
This part of the inspection will focus on the way the crane responds to push button commands. The inspector will test the buttons and check that they are not sticking out or remain pushed in.
- Hooks Checkout
The hook of the crane must be checked for:
- Signs of wear and tear
- Bending or twisting
- The fact that the safety latches are in place
- Free rotation, without grinding.
- Bottom Block Assembly Checkout
Finally, the inspector will verify that the bottom block assembly does not have structural damage or cracks and that the capacity markings are visible.