Sunday, April 1, 2012

Your Overhead Crane Inspection Report

Often when I go and visit prospects, or new customers I find one thing in common that they are all lacking. Paperwork. It typically doesn’t matter what competitor they are using, they rarely have sufficient paperwork that provides proof of inspections, and or proof of an inspection program that has been performed on a continuing basis. Typically they have several manila folders in a couple different places in their office that has a few service reports and other folders that have crane manuals at best. Then the actual report for the inspection sometimes cannot even be found. If it can, many times it is incomplete, or it is not comprehensive enough to even tell you what the inspector inspected on the crane. A pass or fail for an inspection is just not enough to inform you of your crane issues nor will it keep you compliant. An established paper trail will prevent huge OSHA fines if any accidents were to happen. Companies are fined after major accidents and if they had a paper trail showing they were taking the necessary steps to stay in compliance and keep their facility safe for their workers then the fines would have been nothing near what they received. Let me give you a couple examples of OSHA fines and then I will talk about what is out there on the market for your inspection paperwork.

The first two examples are from an OSHA inspection sweep that was conducted on several companies that had a track record for injured employees. The last one was from a company that had a bad track record of accidents as well but the inspection was conducted because of a related accident.

1. Last year a steel fab shop in Alabama was targeted for an OSHA inspection, not because they had an accident, but because they were targeted for having a higher than average injury and illness rate. They found several serious violations during this walkthrough. Fines totaled $48,510.00. Two of the fines were crane related. They had no inspection records, and someone had welded the hook and no load test was ever conducted.

2. In September of last year Stowe Woodward was fined for similar violations with the same consequences. $49,000 in fines. No frequent crane inspections were ever performed. This is a place that had machinery related fatalities in 1999 and in 2005. I can’t believe after a history like that, a company would not take safety as their number one priority.

3.One of the biggest fines I have ever seen was in Michigan at V&S Detroit Galvanizing in 2009. They were fined a total of $245,000. What struck me was that many were crane related. A $70,000 penalty was charged for moving a rack with a crane over the head of a maintenance employee. Another 70k penalty was charged when the inspector saw the same thing again, only this time they were moving the rack over the employees who were loading the racks below. They were penalized for two additional crane violations, a $7,000 fine for not having an audible warning device on overhead cranes and a $7,000 fine for not performing daily and periodic inspection of overhead cranes.These were all numerous violations that can be found in the state of Michigan’s General Industry Safety Standard, Part 18, Overhead and Gantry Cranes. You can read on more OSHA fines and enforcement information at

Go back and look at your inspection paperwork and ask yourself these ten questions..

1. Was it easy to find?
2. Is it up to date?
3. Does it include all your hoisting equipment in your facility?
4. Do you understand the discrepancies?
5. Do you know what your safety items are?
6. Do you know what crane components were inspected?
7. Do you know what crane components were not inspected?
8. Do you know what the priorities are of the discrepancies found?
9. Do you know if any of those items were repaired?
10. Do you know the investment involved to repair those items?

So, how did you do? Are you comfortable with the reports you currently have? If you answered yes to all ten questions then you have an inspection report that far surpasses most in the industry. You are one step ahead and are taking the necessary steps to keep your employees safe and your company in compliance. Great Job!

If you answered “no” to several of these questions then please take a look at what is available to you from Konecranes. The Konecranes MAINMAN inspection report  is comprehensive and not only will you be able to answer yes to all these questions, you will have much more. With the MAINMAN maintenance report, you will have….

1. A complete equipment list of all your overhead cranes.

2. A condition summary where Konecranes will rate your overhead cranes on a scale from zero to a hundred so you know which cranes should be focused on during the repair process.

3. The MAINMAN will take that one step further and will create a Planning Overview. This will list how many components were inspected on each overhead crane or hoist. The report will then list out of those components, how many had safety related issues, and how many had production issues. This is a great report that will help you organize your repairs once the inspection has been completed.

4. A Work Order follows that list all discrepancies by priority and the condition of each component. This is also the sheet that the crane technician will sign off once the repair of the component has been completed. This will be an important tool for you to tell which component has been repaired and which one still needs to be scheduled.

5. In the Quote section you will get an itemized quote that list the cost for labor and parts for each component requiring repair or replacement.

6. Business Review is provided annually or upon request to show you to total annual investment. This is like a report card. This will help gauge our partnership ensuring that your overhead crane investment is being invested in the right way. Expenses are broken down by inspections, repairs, breakdowns, modernizations, new equipment, training, safety deficiencies, and an equipment score for each piece of equipment. This helps optimize the maintenance schedule reducing your overall investment.

7. Last will be the Condition Detail. This section list every component inspected on your crane regardless of the condition. It is color coded for easy glance so you can just go to the components that have an issue. This section also satisfies your requirements from OSHA keeping you in compliance.

All of these pages come bound together so the pages do not get lost and there is no need for various folders. You will get one book for every annual and quarterly inspection. The quarterly inspection booklet is not as in depth as the annual but still will list the vital information. This information will also all be provided on the Konecranes website

When choosing your overhead crane inspection company ask about their inspection paperwork. Make sure you know what you are getting for proof of inspection. These reports are vital to keeping you compliant and your employees safe.

So, what kind of inspection paperwork do you have for your overhead cranes? Are you comfortable with what you have? What would you like to see in your inspection paperwork?


  1. Excellent blog post, Calvin!

    MAINMAN® inspection reports are the difference between reports lost in a filing cabinet somewhere, or organized and readily-available online!

  2. We are an independant distributor & service center and we use PD Spect for our inspection software. I strongly recommend that every crane service company adopt an organized software program for the same reasons that Calvin mentions. Only Kone has Mainman, but there are other programs out there for the rest of us.

  3. Thanks Bridge Crane Jen! It definetly helps keep you organized when you can get all your reports available online. I am not nearly as good keeping things organized as I should be so for me this would help greatly!

    @ Mike, your right, there are many software programs out there that crane companies use to help organize the data for the inspections. Hopefully more and more companies are utilizing such a program to better service their customers.

  4. The Crane Logic system is probably the most detailed and easy to use system available today. It combines a CRANE BUSINESS SPECIFIC ERP web based business tool as well as a mobile tech inspection tool which is constantly linked. Crane Inspections are accessed by web log in address or PDF of e-mail / thumb drive. The Crane Logic inspection reports include media clips which consist of either pictures or video of subject defects found. Also in development are paperless service call reports. We use this system daily and our technicians have found it to be a vast improvement over the old paper trail. Check out the link to our service tab:

  5. Mr. Anonymous,
    Thank you for your comment on my blog. I did look at the brochure and the Crane Logic System does look nice. It is better than many of the other software programs that I have seen out there. I certainly would like to learn more about this program.

    1. We would be pleased to offer a demo of our Crane Logic System. Just send me an e-mail:

  6. Somehow, I had a feeling that Mr. Anonymous was a salesperson for Crane Logic. Although I don't sell PDSpect, you can check it out at and contact Adam Singer for specifics. (Tell him Mike at Illinois Electric Works sent you.)

  7. Do you know if overhead cranes are only used for large construction projects? I think cranes are a really cool invention and have done a lot for the construction industry. Do you happen to know where I can see how overhead cranes are used?

  8. These are some really good questions to ask while looking over inspection paperwork to pick out an overhead crane. I agree, it's important to make sure that a crane, and any other building machinery is up to date. A really old piece of construction machinery that doesn't function properly could be hazardous to use. It's important to know that your crane is fully inspected and in working order for the worker's safety.