Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Crane Inspector Qualifications

So your company wants to cut cost and it has decided to perform their own inspections and preventive maintenance on their overhead cranes and hoist. Why not right? I mean, your company has a maintenance department. They fix everything else in the plant. They fix the cranes when they are broken. That must mean they are fully able to inspect them as well. Well…. Not if you’re going to go by the rule book, the latest and greatest CMAA standard (Spec 78) which is one of the many specs that is followed by OSHA. OSHA does not know all and they need other committees to help them put together these regulations. CMAA is an association developed by the Crane Manufacturers Service Committee. They are highly knowledgeable committee that is led by the leaders in the industry. According to CMAA there are many qualifications that are required for crane inspectors including physical requirements, work experience, required training, and even local licensing. Let’s take a deeper look at the various requirements so you can understand the burden you will be carrying performing your own inspections.

There are several physical requirements that are set by CMAA for crane inspectors. Some of the more understood qualifications is proficiency in reading and writing English, proficient oral and written communication skills, and be able to distinguish between colors, and have adequate hearing for the job, and physical dexterity, endurance, and strength. There are other qualifications that may not be known like the specifics of the vision qualifications. You are required to have 20/30 minimum in one eye and 20/50 in the other. This is with our without corrective lenses. Your depth perception has to be within normal range, including your field of vision, hand-eye coordination, with no existing conditions of dizziness. You also have to be subject to a safety and drug program. Therefore if your company does not have one in place or it is not that assiduous, then they will need to step up their program even if you only have one employee inspecting your crane. Heights are an additional requirement that gets overlooked probably because it seems so obvious. Your inspector must be comfortable working at heights to access the crane. He has to understand the safety requirements for this, and be able to work safely under adverse physical conditions. It can get extremely hot at the height of the cranes in the plant. So it is immensely important that the inspector understands this and can physically handle the conditions that he or she will be working in. The last physical requirement is fairly understood and most companies adhere to this when hiring maintenance personnel. You can have no physical restrictions of any kind. Meaning… you have to have control of all your body functions at all times, and total emotional stability. I would like to think that companies do not hire people for maintenance personnel outside of such a requirement, but I know that all companies work differently. It is very important for the company to follow these qualifications for the safety of their employees.

Work experience of the inspector is not only something that many companies don’t follow for their maintenance crew but many crane servicing companies do not follow this as well. CMAA requires your inspector to have a minimum of “2,000 field hours of experience related to the maintaining, servicing, repairing, modifying, and functional testing of cranes and associated hoisting equipment”. If you do outsource your crane inspections you should ask your vendor how many hours their inspectors have. They should have well over 2,000 hours if they are inspecting your equipment. On top of these qualifications they should have a good understanding of the various codes and regulations on the overhead cranes set by OSHA, CMAA, and ANSI.

Lastly, we get into the required training that CMAA has set as minimum qualifications to be an inspector. This training however means nothing if any of the prior mentioned are not met. Your employee may have extensive training but if the work experience is not there or the physical requirements cannot be met, then the training of the employee means nothing. You need to have all three in order to be qualified to inspect overhead crane equipment. The training of the inspector is no less arduous than the physical or experience qualifications. It is required for the inspector to have formal training in codes and regulation at Federal, State, and local level. The inspector has to be very discerning with the various codes and regulations set forth by OSHA, CMAA, ANSI, and local committees. They are required to take refresher courses every two years to get acquainted with revisions that change annually. They need to know the difference between “Shall” and “Should”, which can complicate issues greatly if they misinterpret the two. It is essential for the inspector to have trade skills as well which comes from their work experience. The inspector has to have a working knowledge of the products and equipment that they are inspecting. This will help them identify wear patterns, and hear things that may be out of the ordinary. Safety is another important training subject that needs to be familiarized by the inspector as well. This is for their own good to make sure that they work safe, and understand if certain operations of the equipment is unsafe. This would include the astuteness of job-site conduct. Testing of all these training topics is required so the inspector can demonstrate his proficiency of these topics. Certain local governments will require the inspector to be licensed as well, so make sure you check with your local government agencies to ensure if they will need a certification or license to inspect your equipment.

I have discussed several points that CMAA requires inspectors to be qualified in. With all these issues mentioned, please re-think your option to inspect your equipment yourself. Yes, you may save money short term by performing your own inspections. However to do it properly the money spent on your inspector is great, and the responsibility that you are giving yourself far exceeds the few dollars that your saving doing so. If you’re going to go and follow the regulations by doing periodic inspections on your overhead cranes, then seriously think about the burden of doing this on your own. Us crane guys are here to help you, and we want you to make the right choices for your company. In the very least contact your crane vendor and discuss with them the option to perform the periodic inspections on your own.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Requirements For Inspecting Cranes Three Ton and Below In California

Since I have been working out of California, I have had a lot of questions regarding the inspections and maintenance on equipment that is below three ton capacity. Because the CALOSHA Title 8 Article 100 specifies hoisting equipment over three tons. This article states that all equipment over three ton shall be quarterly inspected and have a load test performed every four years. Because of this many people do not inspect or have any maintenance plan of any kind on their equipment that is below three tons. I was very surprised by this since in reality it made no sense at all. Typically most manufacturing plants main lifting equipment is below three tons. Also this equipment is generally what is most widely used in the plant. So why not have a maintenance and inspection schedule on them?

Recently I was introduced to a letter from CALOSHA that written back in 1993. This letter was regarding proof load testing on cranes less than three tons capacity. It does state that equipment over three tons only requires quadrennial load testing. However is required that all equipment below three tons still be on a maintenance schedule regardless of the rated capacity. Many contractors in the state of California will tell you that you do not need to worry about inspecting your equipment that fall at three tons or less rated capacity. These inspectors and contractors are ill informed.

When you are putting together your inspection program on your overhead lifting equipment in the state of California, make sure that you include all lifting equipment regardless of the rated capacity. Doing your equipment over three tons is not satisfying CALOSHA requirements. Even worse, it is extremely dangerous to not have a maintenance schedule for your lifting equipment. Please let me know if you need help putting together a maintenance schedule. I will gladly help you put together a program that is economic, efficient, safety conscious, and CALOSHA satisfied, all while keeping your production needs in the forefront!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Huge Crane Fall In Portugal

This is what not to do when rigging a load. Especially a big one like this. You can tell it was extremely top heavy. Never rig from the bottom of the load!!!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Runway Alignment

One of the crane system components that often get overlooked is the runway. Often cranes will have wheel problems and the wheels get changed out not thinking of the actual runway being a potential reason for the original wheel wear. If your crane travels down the runway and is very loud, and you hear lots of cracking, and racking of the crane, you probably have a runway issue. Sometimes the crane runs silently down the runway and you still could have potential crane rail issues.

CMAA specification No. 70-2004 1.4 gives some good guidelines for your runway. It is a must that the runway be “straight, parallel, level and at the same elevation”. If any one of these factors is out of skew it can affect the performance of the crane or cause premature wear. The span of the runway is also a important dimension that if is not within tolerance will cause premature wear as well, and also cause racking of the crane. If your span is less than 50’ as most cranes are, you are only allowed a overall tolerance of 3/16 “. From 50’ to 100’ you are allowed ¼” of tolerance, and if it is over 100’ span than you have up to 3/8”. If you think about that is such a small tolerance over such a distance. You are allowed a ¼” rate of change maximum for every 20’ of runway. When your rail is no straight it is extremely hard on your wheels and brakes when it constantly racks. Your runway elevation should be within 3/8” on each side of runway, and same as crane span when it is compared to each other. Meaning your rail to rail elevation on a crane less than 50’ can only be out by 3/16”, between 50’ and 100’ you’re allowed ¼”, and same with a 100’ you’re allowed 3/8” with a maximum rate of change of ¼” on 20’.

Another important dimension to keep in mind is the space between the rails. The CMAA standards are 1/16”. However the larger the rail and the larger the wheel the greater dimension you will be allowed to get away with. CMAA does not deviate from that dimension. I have seen the dimension larger than this and it has not created any issue with wheel wear or noise during travel because the rail was 160# rail and the wheel had a diameter large enough that it was not affected by the gap.

Konecranes has designed a new and efficient way to perform a runway analysis called Rail Q. From their website page I have learnt several things that would be beneficial for any company with a rail concern to look into Rail Q. Rail Q is much more accurate than previous ways to perform runway analysis. It is also quicker. This would minimize the downtime of your crane during the analysis, and reduced cost of the analysis. Results from such a precise analyisis offer the customer a more cost effective means of repairs to get the runway within tolerance.

Below is an introductory video of the Rail Q survey. Please take a look.

Rail Q Survey

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Where do I find regulations for Overhead Cranes?

OSHA 1910.179 is the main source for your overhead crane regulations. All other forms of regulations were either written to clarify or expand on the existing OSHA 1910 regulations. These regulations cover definitions of cranes and it’s components, general requirements, cabs, footwalks and ladders, stops, bumpers, rail sweeps, and guards, brakes, electrical equipment, hoisting equipment, warning devices, inspections, testing, maintenance, rope inspection, handling the load, and other general requirements.

CALOSHA Title 8 was written by the California OSHA as a supplement to the OSHA 1910.179 standards. CALOSHA over-rides all OSHA regulations that contradict one another. The California OSHA made these regulations because certain parts of the OSHA 1910.179 they felt were not stringent enough so they wrote a more stringent set of standards to protect the users of this equipment. Obviously this is lawful only in the state of California. If your state has its own OSHA department then you may have similar supplements to OSHA 1910.179. Here you will find similar regulations that are in OSHA. You should look here first when you’re in the State of California. If you don’t find it here then go to OSHA 1910.179. Operation, Testing, Maintenance, and Inspections of overhead cranes are the three big amendments that CALOSHA made to the OSHA regulations.

ASME B30 was written to expand on monorails and under-running cranes which is not specified in OSHA 1910.179. ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) B30 were written for Cableways, Cranes, Derricks, Hoists, Hooks, Jacks, and Slings under the accreditation by ANSI (American National Standard). ASME B30 covers general construction, installation, inspections, testing, maintenance, operation, and definitions of monorails, under-running cranes, and its components. ASME B30 over-rides OSHA 1910.179. If you are found in violation of an OSHA regulation that contradicts ASME then you do not get fined.

CMAA 70-2004 (Crane Manufacturers Association of America) are specifications for top running bridge and gantry cranes including multiple girder cranes. These specifications were written by crane manufacturers to promote a standardization of cranes and equipment. This does not only spec manufacturing recommendations but also technical procedures. The CMAA Specification number 70-2004 has six main sections.
1. General Specifications
2. Crane Service Classification
3. Structural Design
4. Mechanical Design
5. Electrical Equipment
6. Inquiry Data Sheet and Speeds

You would look into NEC 610.31, and 430.101 through 430.113 to get the specifications for electrical disconnect regulations. You could also look into NFPA 70E for De-contactors for maintenance purposes which would include hazard analysis, voltage testing and auxiliary disconnects, mechanical interlocks, flash boundaries, and PPE.

If you have any questions or need further assistance please let me know and I will do my best to provide you with the information that you request. I hope this has been helpful.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Gantry Crane Collapse

I found this video a long time ago. I never posted it because like the Harland and Wolff accident I really wanted more information. I researched online and could not fine anything on this following accident. This accident is of a gantry crane falling down in the winter outside and it almost hits a nearby person in a car. I have no idea where it is, nor do I know why it happened. If anyone knows please fill me in and I will add it to my posting. I think these videos of accidents are very valuable in learning what can happen if the operator is not trained or the equipment is not periodically inspected and preventive maintenance is not performed when it needs to be. This guy barely survived with his life. It appears to me the crane fell because of lateral force on the legs of the gantry. Now it is possible that this was caused by a load swing, or a component on the crane giving out. It is hard to tell without some kind of information. The crane does not even come into the screen until it has already fallen. It is very hard to tell what took place. It is however a good video clip of a gantry crane accident so I thought it should definitely be on my blog. If you have any ideas about this as well, please share them with me. I will post any corrections to this video as I find them. I just wanted to get it up online while it was still available.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Harland & Wolff Accident

I wanted to post this accident in the past but I never did because I wanted more information. Did anyone die? How did it happen? It is often hard to find out those answers because private companies do not have to report an accident if no one gets hurt. Unless someone is killed it is easy to keep the information from getting out to the public. This occurred at Harland & Wolff in Belfast on April 4th 2007. No one was killed in this accident. This is the same shipyard where the Titanic was built. There are 5 cranes in the shipyard. They have two Goliath cranes. One nicknamed Goliath and the other Samson. Goliath was built first in 1969, Samson was built in 1974. They span 140 meters (460ft) with a lifting height of 70 meters (230ft). Each has a capacity of 840 metric tons, or 926 short tons. So combined they can pick up 1600 metric tons or 1852 short tons. They are complete monsters. The crane that fell was a Henson 60 metric tons (66 short tons) crane. It stood 25 meters (82ft). The filming was taking from atop of the neighboring Henson crane. It is said that when the crane fell it came only within a few feet of the neighboring crane. I would think that a shipyard as big as this one would have an anti-collision system installed that would prevent such a collision. As the tower crane comes into the path of the gantry crane they should make it so that it automatically stops the gantry from moving in the direction of the tower crane. Since no one was killed then I imagine then that the tower crane was empty. This would mean to me that someone parked the crane in that position. Why would they park it in the path of the crane? There should also be a safety mechanism that does not allow for shutdown of the crane if it is in the path of the Gantry. In this age of technology there is no need to not have it. The price to install one on a crane would be minimal.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Crane Accidents

OSHA 1910.179B(6) states that
only designated personnel shall be permitted to operate a crane covered by this section.
Designated means selected or assigned by the employer or employer’s representative as being qualified to perform specific duties. ASME B30.2-3.1.1 states that
cranes can only be operated by qualified personnel.
The biggest questions I hear from customers is, what is qualified personnel? ASME is very broad with its definition of personnel and makes it hard to decipher the ASME regulation. However if you read further into the ASME codes it gives you its definition of qualified personnel. If you refer back to ASME B30.2-0.2 it states that
a qualified person is a person who, by possession of a recognized degree in an applicable field or a certificate of professional standing, or who by extensive knowledge, training, and experience, has successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter and work.
So basically this is just telling you that to be a qualified personnel you need to be properly trained and have the experience, and show that you are fully capable of operating a crane. Training is the key to operating the crane properly. Just because somebody has operated a crane for 10 or 15 years it does not make them qualified. They need the knowledge to go with the skill. Even the experienced operator can learn from a training course. Many accidents occur because the crane operator regardless of his experience has little knowledge of the fundamentals of crane operation. I have posted a few crane accidents that look as if the operation of the equipment was improper. This video shows the dangers of picking up a load and using the crane as a securing device. Cranes are designed to pick loads straight up and down only. They not meant to pull sideways. This is what can happen when you side pull a crane or shock load it. Both cases were done here. This next video is of a rubber tired gantry crane that crashed. I am unsure of the cause whether was an operator error or if this was a equipment failure. If anyone knows about any of these accident please let me know and I will update the post.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Limit Switches
When do you check a Limit Switch? Many people understand this regulation completely wrong. There are many others that think that they don’t need to check the limit switch, and of course others who don’t want to check it because they are worried about it failing. This of course is the exact reason why you should be checking. So when do you check a limit switch? Well, if you said daily you are wrong again. You should be checking it each shift! That is the correct answer. If your facility has more than one shift then it needs to be checked at the beginning of that shift. Checking it only once a day opens the door for something to potentially to happen because the next operator has no idea what was done on the first shift. So, please for your own good check the limit switch on the beginning of each of your facility’s shift.
Another idea that floats around that I hear when I visit my customers is that the limit switch needs to be tested under a load. That answer is absolutely false. You should never check the limit switch under a load. For that matter you should never check any part of the crane or hoist under a load. The only time a load should be on the hook during a test is during a load test and that should be done by professional crane technicians.
Many companies are very worried and tell their crane operators to skip the limit switch inspection. They worry that it may get stuck or does not work. I tell you if there ever is a time you want to find that out, it is during an inspection, you don’t want to find out while you’re making a vital pick. To inspect the upper limit you should be inching the load block into the limit switch. Do not go right into high speed. Go in slow speed or if you have a single speed hoist then jog the pendant so the load block is inched into the limit switch.
Many manuals will suggest you to go into high speed. Me personally, I leave that to the operator. You can after you jog it into the limit switch. However be prepared that the load block may not stop at the same point that it stopped when you jogged it into the limit switch. Just like a car, the faster you go the longer it will take to slow down; at least if you have a VFD that is how it would work. So be careful!
A second fable that exists in the crane world is pretty much the exact opposite of what I just told you. I have talked to many customers that think that they can use the limit switch at an operational device. When I say operation device I mean that they think they can use the limit switch every time they operate the hoist. There are many applications that would require the load block to reach its upper most limit in order to get the most height out of the load hook as you possibly can. However unless you have two limit switches on your hoist this is not allowed or recommended. A limit switch is designed as a safety device only; so constant operation was not applied to the engineering of the device. This can decrease the life of the limit switch since many are made out of plastic. If your crane is equipped with two limit switches than you should check with your overhead crane contractor to see if you can utilize the limit switch as an operating device.
You should be having a crane company come in quarterly, semi-annually, or annual depending on the usage of your crane. During this time it is a good time to talk to your crane contractor too see what they recommend for performing your daily, and monthly inspections. Depending on your crane you may want to inspect it differently from what I have suggested.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Understanding the Wire Rope The most important component of your crane is your wire rope. Therefore it is vital for you to understand the construction of a wire rope. If you know how your wire rope is made then you can properly inspect, and maintain it. It is easy to inspect if you know how to do it and what to look for. A wire rope is like a machine with all its components and make up. Here we will only cover the main points of a wire rope that will help you care for your wire rope. There are three main components of your wire rope. First you have your core (d). Your core is then surrounded by tiny strands (F) made up of several wires (E). When you’re inspecting your wire rope you do not need to rag the rope. Rag, is terminology that means to take a rag and wrap it around the wire rope and then operate the hoist so the wire rope feeds through the rag. This is left for the professional inspector to do. This can be dangerous if you have not done this before. The rag can tear out of your hands and you have the potential to cut your hand on a bad wire rope or even worse pull a body part into the drum of the hoist. DO NOT RAG YOUR WIRE ROPE. Save it for the professionals.
Per CALOSHA standards you should change your wire rope when you have 6 randomly distributed wires in one lay or 3 broken wires in one strand.
Another vital piece of information that you should know is how a wire rope is classified. Most wire ropes you will see on overhead cranes are 6X37. This means that it has 6 strands, and 37 wires per strand. The wires can fluctuate per strand and still be classified as a 6X37. According to Southwest Wire Rope it can typically run from 27 to 49 wires. There are several different classifications such as 6X19 which is the next classification down from 6X37 or even 6X61 which is the next classification up from 6X37. A wire rope is also classified based on the lay of the wire rope. A wire rope is either a right lay wire rope or a left lay wire rope. You can tell this by taking hand a grabbing the wire rope. If you take your left hand and wrap your hand around the wire rope and the strands are going in the same direction as your thumb then it is a right lay rope. Same as if you take your right hand and wrap it around the wire rope, if you’re the strands go in the same direction as your thumb then it is a left hand lay wire rope. When you order your wire rope you should be purchasing an OEM wire rope from your crane parts supplier. For your own information it is important to understand the types of lays in your wire rope. Most cranes will have regular lay wire ropes. However there are circumstances that you will find other types of wire ropes on your crane. If you look at a regular lay wire rope the wires are almost perpendicular from the lay of the wire rope. However on a Lang Lay the wires are going along the same pattern as the lay of the wire rope. Please see the below picture provided from They also list another type of lay which they call a reverse lay. I am more familiar with the term alternate lay. An alternate lay is when the wire rope switches back and forth from regular lay on one strand to Lang lay on the next strand. Again you will mostly be seeing regular lays on overhead cranes. It is good to know though that there are different types of lays of a wire rope. The core of the wire rope will either be made up of a fiber or it is made up of steel. If it is a fiber core it is listed as a FC. If it is a steel core then it is classified as an IWRC. There are benefits to both types of cores. A fiber core is more flexible and a steel core is stronger than the fiber core. It all depends on the use of the wire rope that would require a FC or a IWRC wire rope. Most cranes will have a IWRC unless it is a class A crane. Lastly you should familiarize yourself with lubricating your wire rope. Wire rope requires a periodic lubrication. The frequency is dependent upon the use of the crane, location of the crane, and the lubrication being used on the crane. You should be using a pliable type of lubricant. Do not use anything that dries on the wire rope. This does not allow for the entire wire rope to be covered in lube. You want to use a lube with a thick viscosity so it will reduce friction on the sheaves and drum, but not too thick that it does not get in between the strands of the wire rope. Most hoist manuals will tell you what type of lubricant to use on your equipment. It is best to follow the OEM guidelines. If you have a crane company working on your crane they will be using OEM lubricants on most crane components, however they may have a lubricant that they use for your type of wire rope. If you understand the above, you should go to your crane and see if you can tell what kind of wire rope you have and if it is lubricated or not. Ensure that the wire rope is being checked each shift before use, every month, quarterly, and annually. This of course is dependent upon frequency of use. Remember not all wire ropes are the same, and you cannot put any wire rope on a hoist. It has to be specified by the manufacturer. Now you understand the makeup of a wire rope and can properly identify a wire rope and you should when to change them. This will make your crane safer and more reliable.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

What Not To Do With an Overhead Crane. Hanging from one is definitely on top of the list. I am not quite sure the point of this. Obviously it was a situation where the guy was trying to impress someone. Overhead cranes are never meant to pick people up. This is an obvious OSHA violation. If this character ever got hurt the company definitely would be fined. I would hope that this occurred after management went home. Someone hoisted this kid into the air and watched him do this. People who takes a crane for granted can get seriously hurt. You should never trust the equipment is always going to work. The more cautious you are the less likely a crane accident will occur. 73% of all crane accidents are caused by the operator. 26% are caused by the failure of the equipment. You should always familiarize yourself with your crane and the regulations that govern them. You can find this regulation in OSHA 1910.179.N.5. While any employee is on the load or hook, there shall be no hoisting, lowering, or traveling.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Overhead Material Handling Regulations

In my years of being in the crane industry it has always struck me at how uninformed businesses are of OSHA overhead material handling regulations. Companies with spend thousands of dollars even millions to invest in material handling equipment. Then once installed and in use they are forgotten until they start having problems. Their system may go a year or it may go 10 years without any problem. Then the one time is does they are amazed at how this piece of equipment just stopped working. It is a forgotten assett because by most it is unseen high up on the building steel where no one looks up. Like any machine it needs to be take care of and maintained. If you buy a car or a truck you maintain it at least every 3,000 miles or 5,000 miles depending on the usage. Obviously you do this for two reasons. One, you want to get the most out of your vehicle, and two, it is suggested by the manufacturer to do so. If you don't your guaranteed to have problems in the future. The same goes for overhead cranes. If you do not take care of them they will wear out and equipment will breakdown. Overhead cranes and hoists all have gearboxes with oil or grease. They need to be changed periodically. They have wire ropes that require replacement from being stretched or broken wires that are not always easily seen. The wheels will wear over time running back and forth on the crane rail. The electrical components will eventually wear as well. That is why it is so important to periodically perform preventive maintenance and inspections of the crane and hoists components. Spare parts are not always easy to come by either. Your crane may go down and you will not be able to get the part you need for weeks or even months. This could drastically reduce your plant or shops production. To keep them maintained so you reduce the chance of this happening inspections need to be performed. Not only will it reduce your equipments down time it is the law. According to OSHA spec 1910.179, Complete inspections of the crane shall be performed at intervals... depending upon activity, severity of service, and environment...any deficiencies shall be carefully examined and determination made as to whether they constitute a safety hazard. Note that is inspection that is required by OSHA needs to be provided by someone other than a company employee. It is suggested that you use a company that provides these services for your company. OSHA also requires companies to have a program for preventive maintenance that coincides with the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule (OSHA 1910.179 L1). This of course does not have to be performed by the manufacturer but by a qualified personel. Not only does OSHA require you to do this, they also require the operators or inspector to perform Monthly chain, wire rope, and hook inspections. This requirement you can find in OSHA 1910.179-J2 (iii & iv). Peforming all of these will not only keep you up to the OSHA regulations but it will also keep your equipment running smooth eliminating unwanted service calls and expensive repairs to your equipment. Maintaining your equipment is key to keeping production going in your plant. If your material handling equipment is not maintained then you are increasing your chances for production loss or even heavy fines from OSHA. I am here to help you sort this out, and get your company on the right track to keeping your equipment maintained and OSHA compliant. Please feel free to respond with any comments or questions. If I don't know the answer I will find the answer.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

CAL OSHA Title 8 Article 100 Cranes and Hoist Inspection and Maintenance

When do you inspect your crane? Annually? Quarterly? Monthly? Daily? Answer: all the above. Daily visual inspections by the operator or other qualified person is a must for all crane owners. You can catch most issues in the daily operations check. Any day something can happen to the hoist that you may not even know about wihout doing an inspection. It could be as simple as the safety latch not working properly. Catching this prior to the use of the equipment can be vital in preventing an accident. CAL OSHA also requires you too perform periodic inspections four times a year. The annual inspection is included in the four periodic inspections. So your required to perform your daily inspections, three quarterly inspections, and your annual inspection. Each one being more thorough than the previous. So how do you know if this is even enough for your equipment? Perhaps your equipment is in a factory that runs 24-7. CAL OSHA helps break this down for you as well. If you run your equipment for more than 750 hours between your quarterly inspections than you need to perform a heavier inspection schedule. So if you have a crane that runs 24-7 for seven days a week then you would need to perform a quarterly inspection every month, and an annual inspection every 4 months. When am I required to perform load test on my equipment? Article 99 section 5022 explains that before initial use all new cranes are required to have a proof load test. They are then required to be proof tested every four years. Any major modifications or repairs require a new proof load test. Often I hear from people, I am not going to do an inspection on this unit because we do not use it often or have not used it in a long time. if this is your idea of saving money think again. If you do not use your equipment for 6 months, you are required to perform all test as if it was a brand new unit. therefore you would be required to perform an annual inspection and a proof load test again. If you don't use a piece of equipment for a month you are required to perform a thorough inpspection on the unit prior to use as well. Save money and time by doing your inspections and load test annualy. It will only cost you more down the road.