Keep Crane, Hoist Users Safe With Pre-Operational Equipment Check Guidelines

One of the most important ways to keep overhead crane and hoist operators safe is to require them to complete a pre-operational equipment inspection at the beginning of each shift. That’s why The Crane, Hoist and Monorail (CHM) Alliance — working in conjunction with the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) — has published a Pre-Operational Equipment Check of Cranes and Hoists, detailing 13 separate areas to be inspected at a minimum. Should the equipment fail any of the inspection points, the document advises that a supervisor be notified and the equipment tagged as “out of service” until the issue has been corrected.

Among the areas covered are:

  • Ensuring the equipment is not tagged with an out-of-order sign.
  • Testing all controls to verify actual hoist, trolley and bridge motions agree with those marked on the controller.
  • Verifying that braking and limit switch functions operate normally.
  • Confirming that the hook is damage-free and the hook latch — if used — operates properly.
  • Inspecting wire rope or chains on hoists to ensure they are free of damage or deformation.
  • Looking for oil leaks on the equipment or floor.
  • Checking that warning and other safety labels are intact and legible.
  • Verifying that there are no impediments to movement and that the area is properly lit.

Through its Cooperative Program, OSHA works with groups committed to worker safety and health to prevent workplace fatalities, injuries, and illnesses. These groups include unions, consulates, trade or professional organizations, businesses, faith- and community-based organizations, and educational institutions. OSHA and the groups work together to develop compliance assistance tools and resources, share information with workers and employers, and educate workers and employers about their rights and responsibilities. The CHM Alliance is one of these partnerships.

Want to learn more about the safe operation and application of overhead handling equipment? More details can be found in “Expand Your Possibilities. Discover the Potential. Choose Overhead Lifting,” a free guide published by MHI’s Overhead Alliance (which includes the Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA), the Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI), and the Monorail Manufacturers Association (MMA)).