If your company uses cranes for daily activities, then you must create and implement an inspection plan for all the equipment in operation. These inspections are required by the OSHA to demonstrate that the cranes are in good working condition and safe to use.
Who Can Inspect a Crane?
Accidents involving cranes can be terrible, involving loss of many lives. This is why a crane must always be in good condition, free from signs of wear and tear. And it takes a trained and certified person to perform the inspection and issue a favorable report for each machine.
Crane inspectors must have at least 2,000 hours of experience in maintenance, service, repair and testing cranes to qualify for this position. In addition, they must receive formal training in:
- Federal, State and local codes and standards
- Safety and design codes related to cranes
- Safe operating practices for cranes
- Writing reports and documentation procedures
- Terminology related to cranes.
How Often Must You Have Your Cranes Inspected?
There are four types of inspection for cranes. The first inspection takes place when you bring the crane to the work site for the first time. Even if it is a brand new piece of equipment, it must go through initial inspection before starting it up.
Other inspections are performed periodically throughout the year, to ensure that the equipment continue to be safe to use. Here is what you can expect from a crane inspection Colorado providers offer.
- Initial Inspection
After the crane is set up at the work site, the specialist will perform a visual inspection of the machine and document its condition in a report. Afterwards, a load test is performed to determine the load rating of the crane (the weight it can safely lift).
The load rating of the crane must not exceed 80% of the maximum load used during the test.
- Functional Test Inspection
The functional test inspection must be performed at the beginning of each shift. It consists of a visual inspection, covering the following:
- The operating mechanisms, to confirm that they are properly adjusted
- Damaged or leaking valves, tanks, drain pumps and other elements of the hydraulic system
- Chains and connections, looking for potential twists, distortions or excessive wear and tear
- Hooks damaged by cracks or deformations
- All functional mechanisms
- Rope reeving, checking for noncompliance with the manufacturer’s recommendations.
- Frequent Inspection
These inspections should be scheduled depending on the usage of the crane. For normal service, the frequent inspection will take place each month, while for heavy service, the inspection should be scheduled weekly. In case of severe service, the frequent inspection should take place 2-3 times per week.
The inspector will perform the same checks as during the functional test inspection, plus:
- Operating mechanisms inspection
- Paying special attention to the hoist brake, load chain, and wire rope
- Close inspection of the hook and latch
- Listening for abnormal sounds.
- Periodic Inspection
The periodic inspection is done on an annual basis for cranes in normal service and quarterly for cranes in severe service. This is a very detailed inspection covering:
- Deformed, corroded or cracked parts
- Loose rivets and bolts
- Excessive wear and tear of the brake and chain systems
- Electrical apparatus.
Please note that a periodic and functional test inspection must be performed if the crane has not been in use for 6-12 months before you use it again.