A crane is a machine used for lifting and lowering a load and moving it horizontally, with the hoisting mechanism an integral part of the machine. overhead cranes are used in many industries to move heavy and oversized objects that other material handling methods cannot. Overhead cranes have a railed support structure, known as a bridge, and a wheeled trolley that travels across the bridge horizontally. The other primary component of an overhead crane is the hoist, that’s attached to the trolley, and is used to perform the lifts. Several varieties of overhead cranes exist including gantry crane, semi-gantry crane, cantilever gantry crane, storage bridge and wall cranes.
OSHA regulates overhead crane safety through 29 CFR 1910.179, overhead and gantry cranes. This regulation covers general requirements, design, inspection, maintenance requirements and operations.
The OSHA overhead crane safety regulation specifies design requirements on the construction of the cab and its controls as well as the cab’s lighting; foot-walks, ladders and stairways; bridge and trolley bumpers; hoist, holding, trolley and bridge brakes; electrical components; hoisting equipment; and warning devices.
Due to the large and heavy objects often being transported by overhead cranes, routine inspections are necessary to ensure continued operation and overhead crane safety. An initial inspection of the crane (new or altered) prior to initial use is necessary. Once placed into service, overhead cranes will require two different types of inspections. Frequent inspections are done at daily to monthly intervals, while periodic inspections are completed at monthly to annual intervals. The purpose of the two inspection types is to examine critical components of the crane and to determine the extent of wear, deterioration or malfunction.
Items to be inspected:
In addition to the initial inspection, OSHA also requires that all new and altered cranes are tested. The operational testing includes the following:
A preventive maintenance program based on the crane manufacturer's recommendations must be implemented. If any deteriorated components or unsafe conditions are detected during the required inspections, they must be completed before the crane is allowed to be used. Only designated personnel may perform the required maintenance and repairs. The requirements of 29 CFR 1910.147, the control of hazardous energy or lockout/tagout, should be used to de-energize the crane (See Quick Tips #170: Lockout/Tagout for more information).
The manufacturer's instructions must be followed when operating to help ensure overhead crane safety. OSHA covers their load handling requirements under 1910.179(n). It addresses the following: