Expert article

Crane inspections essential to safe, productive operations

Michael Hancock - District Technical Trainer

A program of regularly-scheduled crane inspections conducted by specially-trained, third-party technical professionals can save companies great expense by verifying compliance with local regulations and highlighting safety and production issues.

It is important to know which types of inspections your equipment need, because inspection types can vary greatly. For example, if you have a new crane, one that has not been used for several months, or if you have recently repaired or replaced a load-bearing item, a load test inspection is recommended.

If during daily visual inspections, the crane operator suspects damage to the wire ropes, an in-depth test should be performed on the wire rope assemblies. Wire ropes and chains should be inspected at least once per year, or more if directed by the OEM.

Annual overhead crane inspections should always include the checking of clutches and brakes as well as the electrical and mechanical systems. Basic operational tests can determine if the equipment is working as it should.

Depending on the age, type and duty cycle of the crane, crane safety authorities like CMAA, OSHA, ANCI as well as the OEM, may require more intensive inspections--including internal inspections on chain sprockets and non-destructive testing of the crane hooks and gear case components.

Crane inspections can verify that equipment complies with current local, state and federal standards and laws, helping companies avoid costly fines and disruption of operations. Crane inspections can assess the safety of equipment, detect wear and tear and identify maintenance needs for safe, productive operation.

Crane inspections may also include a review of a company’s crane records to verify that the company is operating in compliance with regulations. It’s beneficial to establish a working relationship with a provider of crane inspections who will work with you to develop a comprehensive plan of preventive maintenance, scheduled repairs and crane modernizations. With a coordinated program, companies can more effectively maintain a safe, fully functional, reliable and compliant operation.

Using a single service provider for crane inspections and preventive maintenance elevates the process to a higher level of effectiveness and value. For example, Konecranes offers service programs tailored to the customer's operations. The CARE Preventive Maintenance Program has been designed to improve equipment safety and productivity through the systematic application of preventive maintenance inspections, routine maintenance, the proprietary Risk and Recommendation Method, and remote monitoring technology.