Inspections are required on any overhead lifting equipment in the United States. The things that need checking may differ by the type and class of crane, but you have to have an inspector look the machine over every year.
Why Does a Crane Need Inspecting?
The purpose of the inspection is to make sure that the crane is safe to operate. Daily use of the machine will cause wear to some items, and if something critical breaks, the damage could be catastrophic. The inspector is not trying to keep you from working, but if they see something wrong, they can shut the machine down until the problem is corrected. OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) has extremely detailed guidelines for inspectors to follow, and if your crane does not meet the guidelines, repairs will have to be made immediately.
Finding a Crane Inspector
The Crane Manufacturers Association of America (CMAA) guidelines require an inspector to have no less than 2000 hours of field experience working with cranes in maintenance, repair, alteration, or functional testing capacity. An inspector should be trained to do the inspections properly and should be able to follow and understand the federal, state, and local regulations for cranes and overhead lifting equipment. The CMAA can help you find an inspector in your area if you need one or point you to a local group that can help.
Modified or Repaired Cranes
If you have a crane that has been taken out of service for repair or has been altered in some way, OSHA mandates that the crane undergo a full inspection. The inspection may focus on the part of the crane that was worked on, but it is not limited to that. Any part of the crane is subject to inspection, but the inspector may not take the time to look at things that were not worked on if the machine was inspected just before repairs where made. In some cases, the crane may have been taken out of service because of an inspection requirement and the entire machine was checked and found to be in good shape but one item needed to be replaced.
When a new crane is installed or put into service, the crane must be inspected before it is used. Even though the crane is new, OSHA requires the inspection to make sure it was correctly installed and is functioning as it should be. The inspection process is not as intense for an initial inspection, but it must be complete before the crane can be used.
For more information, contact a local company that offers crane services.