What Is Crane Inspection?

What Is Crane Inspection?


Preparing for Crane inspectionA crane inspection is a detailed visual and operational examination of a crane to ensure it performs at its best. During the crane inspection process, individual components and lifting gears are examined to detect wear & tear and identify crane maintenance needs for a seamless, safe, and productive operation.

Cranes are essential equipment in industrial and construction sites as they help handle and lift heavy loads. However, due to their daily use, the machines experience wear and tear, leading to breakdowns that may endanger everyone on the worksite. Crane inspection aims to detect any problems in these machines to mitigate potential worksite accidents.

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Why Does the Crane Need Inspection?

Crane inspection is a requirement by the Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA). Through the OSHA 1910.179 crane inspection regulations and standards, the United States Department of Labor requires that all firms regularly inspect their cranes to minimize worksite accidents.

A crane inspection also ensures that all components conform with state and federal laws. More importantly, routine inspection helps detect problems so corrective action may be taken before they lead to a catastrophic incident or escalate to irreversible and costly repairs.

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How Often Should A Crane Inspection Be Done?

A crane inspection should be done based on how often the machine is used and as indicated in the manual provided by the manufacturer. The manual will recommend a set of daily, weekly, monthly, and annual inspections. Crane inspection regulations from various bodies, such as OSHA, ANSI, and CMAA, may also provide guidelines on how often you should conduct crane inspection and maintenance.

Remember, the frequency of use may also determine how often a crane inspection should be done. Frequently used cranes should be inspected and maintained regularly to ensure that the machine performs optimally and facilitate a smooth flow of operations.

What Are The Crane Inspection Regulations?

The most typical crane inspection requirements come from OSHA and ASME. They include pre-operational, monthly, and annual inspections. The OSHA crane inspection regulations and standards ensure that cranes follow routine inspection to enhance workplace safety. A crane inspection should be conducted on the machines before their initial use and when deployed in the operational areas.

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Categories For Crane Inspection

The inspection regulations under OSHA standard 1910.179 are divided into categories as follows:

1. Initial Inspection

Before a crane is used, it must pass through an initial inspection. The examination should be done on new cranes deployed for the first time. Initial crane inspection should also be performed on cranes that have been altered through repairs, reinstallation of core accessories and software, or other significant modifications.

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2. Frequent Inspections

As the name implies, frequent crane inspections are performed daily or monthly, depending on how frequently the equipment is used. The crane inspections usually cover air or hydraulic systems parts, operating mechanisms, hooks, and hoist chains. While some items need to be examined daily before each shift, others need a monthly inspection by a certified crane inspector. In a nutshell, frequent inspections include checking for:

  • Maladjustments that might interfere with the proper functioning of the crane
  • Leakages or deterioration of hydraulic systems, pumps, lines, tanks, or valves
  • Broken or deformed hooks
  • Defective wire rope reeving system
  • Faulty hoist chains
  • Wear and tear of components

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3. Periodic Inspections

These inspections typically occur annually or quarterly based on how often the cranes are in use. Periodic crane inspections tend to focus on more intricate parts that are often bypassed during frequent inspections. Periodic crane inspections specifically look at:

  • Overstretched chains
  • Loose rivets and bolts
  • Worn out wheels and
  • Deteriorating or faulty electrical parts such as push-button stations, limit switches, and control contractors
  • Distorted bearings
  • Wear and tear in the brake and clutch system
  • Indicators with erroneous and inaccurate readings
  • Faulty and unsafe power plants

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Advantages of Regular Crane Inspections

The benefits of crane inspections include:

  • Increased equipment reliability
  • Adequately inspected and maintained cranes promote safe and productive operations
  • Reduces risk of unexpected accidents, injuries, and death at worksites
  • Regulatory compliance with set crane inspection regulations by various bodies, such as OSHA
  • Increased lifespan of the machines and improved productivity.

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Why Are Qualified Professionals Needed For Inspections?

Crane Inspections need to be carried out by qualified professionals since they are the only ones with unrivaled expertise, experience, and tools to conduct visual and operational inspections. More importantly, these professionals can dissect even the most intricate systems of the crane and ensure safety, reliability, conformity, and compliance with statutory requirements and crane inspection regulations.

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Importance Of Crane Inspection

Adhering to effective cane inspection regulations and maintaining the machines in pristine condition helps to preserve and ensure equipment and employee safety. Properly maintained cranes will enable the equipment to deliver safe and productive operation, reduce repair costs, and extend equipment longevity.

The Total Equipment Training mobile crane inspection services provide experienced OSHA-qualified inspectors that can come to your site. Please contact us for more information and to see if we can service your local crane inspection needs.

Barb Fullman- CEO of Total Equipment Training
About the Author

As the owner of Total Equipment Training, Barb Fullman has been an active contributor to the heavy equipment training industry for over 23 years. Barb, a Penn State University graduate, is recognized as the highest ranking women-owned heavy equipment training business in the US. As a leading authority and provider of heavy equipment training, training manuals and tests based on OSHA Standards and Regulations, Total Equipment Trainings’ client list is composed of most of the Fortune 1000 companies focusing on energy, construction, heavy highway, and manufacturing.

Barb’s motto is “Stay safe, stay up to date”. She is committed to up-to-date & technically correct training, whether it is via in-person or through our library of online heavy equipment resources. With over 50 OSHA qualifying training topics to choose from with TET, the most popular heavy equipment training subjects are mobile cranes, NCCCO, all “dirt equipment”, rigging, crane inspections, and train-the-trainer.