Your Complete Guide to Overhead Crane Inspections

Roughly 71 people die in an overhead crane-related accident every year.

Fortunately, with the right crane inspections, these types of accidents can be avoided. And your cranes will need multiple inspections every year.

Take a look at this beginners guide to overhead crane inspections.

Who Should Inspect My Crane?

Don’t think this is something you can do yourself. Even if you think you have a pretty good idea of how cranes work, every inspection needs to be made by a qualified inspector, like the ones found at this company.

These people have the skills, training, and experience to properly inspect your crane. If there are any problems that might compromise the safety of the machine, they will be able to identify it before it becomes a serious hazard.

A designated inspector will also be able to find out if the crane has violated a code set by the United States Department of Labor.

Keep All Inspection Documentation

After they have finished inspecting your equipment, the qualified inspector will write an inspection report. These reports are required, and you must keep them to record the inspections of each machine.

If you have more than one overhead crane, make sure you keep all their reports organized. Reports put in the wrong places can lead to confusion about which cranes you have already inspected and which ones you haven’t yet.

Because all cranes need a lot of inspections (you need to make some inspection daily), keeping these records organized will save you a lot of hassle.

The Two Main Types of Crane Inspections

There are two main types of crane inspections: frequent inspections and periodic inspections.

These are the inspections you’ll have to worry about most often. Though there are a few other types of crane inspections, these are the two you can’t go without.

So let’s take a closer look at these inspections and what they involve.

Frequent Inspections

These kinds of inspections are either made every day or every month, depending on what part of the crane is being inspected. These frequent inspections make sure everything is working the way it should every time you turn the equipment on.

Here’s a list of what an inspector will look at every day before you use the crane:

  • The functional operating mechanisms should be checked for maladjustments
  • Lines, takes, valves, drain pumps, and air or hydraulic systems should be checked for damage or leaks
  • Hooks should be visually checked for damage or cracks
  • Hoist chains and end connections should be visually checked for twists, stretch, distortions, or wear

Most inspectors will also check these parts during the monthly inspection. Anything inspected visually on a day to day basis will be inspected in more detail during a monthly inspection, receiving a written report with an inspector’s signature and a date.

Here’s a list of what an inspector will look at during a monthly inspection:

  • Hooks should be carefully checked for any kind of cracks or other damage
  • Hoist chains and end connections should be carefully and closely checked for any distortion, twists, stretching, or wear
  • Running rope should be checked for broken strands, wear, and other damages
  • The functional operating mechanisms should be checked for any wear or damages
  • Rope reeving should be checked for damages (though this inspection can be made according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.

Even though the inspector looks at some of the things on this list every day, you shouldn’t skip these kinds of inspections. The only way to ensure your equipment functions properly and safely is to make sure every part is doing what it should be doing.

Periodic Inspections

There are other parts of your overhead crane that an inspector needs to check, but they don’t need to do this as often. For these parts, your crane needs periodic inspections.

These inspections happen at least once a year, but they can get done every few months or so.

Here’s a list of parts that qualified persons will check during this kind of inspection:

  • They make sure the members aren’t cracked, corroded, or deformed
  • They make sure rivets and bolts haven’t wiggled loose
  • They make sure sheaves and drums aren’t worn down or cracked
  • They make sure bearings, pins, gears, shafts, locking and clamping devices, and rollers aren’t distorted, worn, or damaged in any other way
  • They make sure the brake-system (including pawls, ratchets, and linings) aren’t worn down
  • They make sure the load, wind, and other indicators are working properly
  • They make sure there aren’t any damages in the motors
  • They make sure the chain drive sprockets aren’t damaged or weakened
  • They make sure things like pushbuttons and limit switches are still in good condition

You may want to talk to your inspector to find out whether they will inspect these parts monthly or yearly.

Other Types of Inspections

Though frequent and periodic inspections are the ones you’ll need most often, there are some other inspections you might need for your overhead crane.

Not in Regular Use

Any crane that you haven’t used in over one month (but less than six months), needs an inspector to look it over before you can use it again. The inspector must check all the parts.

Any crane that you haven’t used for over six months will need a frequent inspection and a periodic inspection.

What Happens If an Inspector Finds Damage?

If an inspector finds any kind of damage during any kind of inspection, you can’t use that piece of equipment until they have addressed the problem.

A qualified and trained person will repair any damages found on your overhead crane.

Don’t Skip Overhead Crane Inspections

These inspections are incredibly important for the safe and easy function of your machines. If you think there’s something wrong with your crane, don’t try to fix the problem yourself. Call someone who’s professionally trained to repair the damages for you.

Trying to find someone who can help with crane inspections? Take a look at some of our services.

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