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Maintenance Is Essential to Crane Safety

Maintenance Is Essential to Crane Safety

An active inspection and preventive maintenance program is crucial to improving safety and productivity and is an OSHA requirement. Making timely repairs when unsafe conditions are identified during an inspection is vital to safety.

OSHA 1910.179 Overhead & Gantry Cranes Regulations
The following excerpt is taken directly from OSHA 1910.179.*

Preventive maintenance

A preventive maintenance program based on the crane manufacturer’s recommendations shall be established. 

Maintenance procedure

  • Before adjustments and repairs are started on a crane the following precautions shall be taken:
    • The crane to be repaired shall be run to a location where it will cause the least interference with other cranes and operations in the area. 
    • All controllers shall be at the off position. 
    • The main or emergency switch shall be open and locked in the open position. 
    • Warning or “out of order” signs shall be placed on the crane, also on the floor beneath or on the hook where visible from the floor.
    • Where other cranes are in operation on the same runway, rail stops or other suitable means shall be provided to prevent interference with the idle crane. 
    • After adjustments and repairs have been made the crane shall not be operated until all guards have been reinstalled, safety devices reactivated and maintenance equipment removed.

Adjustments and Repairs

  • Any unsafe conditions disclosed by the inspection requirements of paragraph (j) of this section shall be corrected before operation of the crane is resumed. Adjustments and repairs shall be done only by designated personnel. 
  • Adjustments shall be maintained to assure correct functioning of components. The following are examples:
    • All functional operating mechanisms. 
    • Limit switches. 
    • Control systems. 
    • Brakes. 
    • Power plants. 
  • Repairs or replacements shall be provided promptly as needed for safe operation. The following are examples:
    • Crane hooks showing defects described in paragraph (j)(2)(iii) of this section shall be discarded. Repairs by welding or reshaping are not generally recommended. If such repairs are attempted they shall only be done under competent supervision and the hook shall be tested to the load requirements of paragraph (k)(2) of this section before further use. 
    • Load attachment chains and rope slings showing defects described in paragraph (j)(2) (iv) and (v) of this section respectively. 
    • All critical parts which are cracked, broken, bent, or excessively worn. 
    • Pendant control stations shall be kept clean and function labels kept legible.

Modifications and re-rating of cranes are allowed but must be thoroughly checked by a qualified engineer or the equipment manufacturer, and the crane must undergo testing. The new rated load should be clearly displayed on the crane. Wind indicators and rail clamps are required for outdoor storage bridges, with specific guidelines for their installation. The crane’s rated load must be marked on each side, and clearances from obstructions must be maintained according to specified standards. Adequate clearance between parallel cranes is also necessary.

*The foregoing OSHA regulations are not intended to be a comprehensive overview of all applicable regulations pertaining to the designated topic. State laws may mandate different safety and maintenance standards. Accordingly, please consult applicable state laws as well as original equipment manufacturer specifications for further guidance. The statements and descriptions contained herein constitute the opinion/recommendation of the seller. These statements are not intended to create any express warranties.