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OSHA Requirements for Overhead Crane Inspections

Approximately 2.9 million non-fatal injuries and illnesses; that’s how many U.S. workers suffered from workplace health and safety problems in 2016. This number shows a decrease from previous years.

But three million is still a significant number. And unfortunately, it could’ve been lower through proper workplace safety policies.

This is especially true on job sites that use heavy equipment, such as cranes and hoists. Their incorrect use and maintenance have led to a yearly average of 71 fatalities.

This is why your facility should follow industry-standard overhead crane inspections. And this means complying with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standards.

Compliance ensures your people remain safe. It also keeps your operations at top efficiency, while bringing down equipment risks.

Here’s what you need to know about OSHA-mandated inspections for overhead cranes.

The Governing Authorities on Safe Overhead Crane Use

OSHA isn’t the only governing body on safe overhead crane use. There’s also the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) also plays a part.

These three developed the standards for overhead crane inspections. They also created the best practice guidelines for maintaining these heavy machines.

As a plant manager, it’s your responsibility to ensure safe overhead crane use. And a big part of your task is to ensure the completion of all necessary inspections before their use.

Many industry standards are surrounding the use and maintenance of overhead cranes. One of these is meeting the required frequency of their inspection.

The Three Frequency Levels of Overhead Crane Inspections

A common mistake involving overhead crane inspections is carrying out a yearly inspection. Many think this is enough to comply with OSHA standards. This is a big mistake that can lead to serious injuries, even fatalities.

The truth is, there are levels to this frequency. And your organization should meet all of them. Failure to do so means non-compliance with the rigorous standards set by OSHA, ASME, and CMAA.

These three levels include initial, frequent, and periodic inspections.

Initial Inspection

Before you can use a new crane, it first needs to undergo an initial inspection. The same standard applies to repaired, modified, and reinstalled machines. Only an OEM-approved representative can perform the initial inspection of new equipment.

Frequent Inspection

How frequent these inspections depend on several factors. These include the specific applications and environmental conditions it’s used in. This means that you can conduct this visual and operational inspection on a daily or a monthly basis.

Periodic Inspections

These are the most time-consuming examinations. They involve comprehensive inspections of the entire machine. The goal is to examine and check all the parts that go into the crane to assess their structural integrity.

Again, the frequency depends on the same factors above. In general, though, they are often done quarterly, semi-annually, or annually.

According to Manufacturer’s Recommendations

Some overhead crane manufacturers have their own inspection provisions. You’ll typically find these instructions in the equipment’s usage manual. You need to follow these manufacturer’s recommendations too.

Your priority is to keep the workplace as safe and secure for every member of your organization. Ensuring everyone follows these industry standards is crucial to achieving this goal. We can help in making your overhead cranes (and their inspection) OSHA-compliant. Call us now to find out more about our services.

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