Why Are Crane Inspections Important?
Daily use wears down many of the parts found on a crane. Over weeks or months, this can lead to an eventual breakdown which can halt usage and throw off your schedule.
Or, worse, it can cause a complete failure that puts your workers, and anyone in the vicinity of the crane in danger. To prevent this from happening OSHA, or the Occupation Safety and Health Administration has made frequent inspections of cranes mandatory for any company that uses them.
How Often Do You Need a Crane Inspection?
The inspection requirements for cranes can be found in OSHA standard 1910.179. This standard lays out several of the different types of inspections that cranes require. In this section, we’ll be going over three of them: initial inspections, frequent inspections, and periodical inspections. A full document of OSHA standard 1910.179 can be found at this resource here.
1. Initial Inspection
Anytime you use a new crane it needs to undergo an initial inspection. This is also true for any cranes that have been altered. Alteration can include cranes that were reinstalled with new equipment, repaired, or modified in any way. This type of initial inspection typically consists of a basic visual inspection.
2. Frequent Inspections
As their name suggests, frequent inspections occur much more often than other types of inspections. However, the specific frequency of inspection depends on how often they’re used. For example, a crane operating under normal service should be checked once a month. A crane operating under heavy service, on the other hand, should be checked every week.
Finally, a crane operating under severe service should be checked on once per day. During this type of procedure, inspectors will pay attention to parts of the crane that are under heavy strain. Specifically, they will check the hooks, hoist chains, pumps, hydraulics systems, tanks, lines, valves, and the wire rope reeving system.
In particular, they’ll listen for any abnormal sounds, maladjustments, and clear visual signs of decay. A record of frequent inspections isn’t necessary. However, it’s important to document them. That way, if an accident occurs, you have documentation that you were doing everything in your ability to deal with it.
3. Periodic Inspections
Periodic inspections occur less often than frequent inspections. However, like frequent inspections, their frequency depends on how often the cranes are used. Cranes under normal and heavy service can be inspected once per year. Cranes under severe service, on the other hand, need to be check quarterly.
If you haven’t used your crane in over a month, then you will also need to perform a periodic inspection. A periodic inspection takes a close look at some of the smaller, or more hidden, components on a crane. Specifically, it looks at:
- Bolts and rivets that are loose
- Wheels that are worn out
- Chain drive sprockets that have deteriorated
- Any wear that may have occurred on the brake and clutch system
- Cracked or distorted parts
- Unsafe power plants
- Indicators that report inaccurate readings
- Bearings that are distorted
- Chains that are overstretched
- Electrical components experiencing deterioration
Who Can Inspect Cranes?
The standard for crane inspectors is laid out by the Crane Manufacturers Association of America. This organization states that every inspector should have A minimum of 2,000 hours of relevant work experience and training related to cranes and the ability to identify deficiencies and make repairs to mechanical, structural, and electrical crane components and associated hoisting equipment.
This includes things like maintenance, repair, servicing, and testing functioning experience. In addition to this practical knowledge, the inspector should also have a broad knowledge of the following areas:
- Any design and safety codes related to the specific type of crane
- Any codes that may be in place, be they Federal, State, or local
- Safety operating practices
- Documentation and report writing procedures
- Industry jargon and terminology
So how do you find a qualified crane inspector in your area? One way is to go through resources like the National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators which offers a directory. You can usually also find inspection and preventative maintenance services with major crane part manufacturers.
Need Your Crane Inspected? Contact Shannahan Crane & Hoist
We hope this article helped you answer the question, How often do I need a crane inspection? As you can see, OSHA requires that cranes undergo frequent inspections, both in the short-term and long term. However, there’s a good reason for these inspections. Not only do they help keep everyone around the crane safe, but they can also save you money on repairs if you catch them early.
However, you must find a qualified service to handle the inspection. So how do you find one? If you live in the Midwest area, then look no further than Shannahan Crane & Hoist.
For over six decades, we’ve been one of the lead designers, manufacturers, and distributors of crane parts. However, we also offer services like inspections. If you’re ready for the expertise your crane deserves, then get in touch with us today.