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FAQ

 



Frequently Asked Questions

Helpful answers to frequently Asked Questions from the Overhead Material Handling experts at OMH. Check back frequently for added useful information. Click “Contact Us”. We can answer your question.

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QUESTION
Do my hoist load hooks need to be center punched so that they can be measured for bending at the throat opening? How often do they need to be inspected?

ANSWER
No punch marks are required on load hooks, just a percentage of bending at the throat opening. On older hooks without latches, punch marks help with this measurement.
Section 1910.179(i)(2)(iii) states that a visual inspection must be performed daily. A monthly inspection with a certification record which includes the date of inspection, the signature of the person who performed the inspection and the serial number, or other identifier, of the hook inspected. For hooks with cracks or having more than 15% in excess of normal throat opening or more than 10° twist from the plane of the unbent hook, removal from service is necessary.

QUESTION
What is the OSHA required inspection for Chain Slings in regular use and when must a sling be taken out of service?

ANSWER
Section 1910.184 of the federal regulations (OSHA) section (e)(3)(i) specifically states: Periodic inspection of alloy steel chain slings at 12 month intervals with a signed report must be maintained in accordance with section (e)(3)(ii). In section (d) there is also a requirement for daily inspections. We are interpreting this to mean the following:
Any sling used in conjunction with other material handling equipment for the movement of material by hoisting should be inspected daily before use and cannot be used in excess of the rated capacity of the weakest component.  The sling and all fastenings and attachments are to be inspected for damage or defects by a competent person designated by the employer. Section (a) clearly identifies types of slings that are required a daily inspection to include alloy steel chain, wire rope, metal mesh, natural or synthetic fiber rope (conventional three strand construction) and synthetic web (nylon, polyester and polypropylene).
Though it is a requirement to permanently attach the size, grade, rated capacity and reach on each chain sling, OSHA details when to retire any type of sling identified in section (a): Slings with defective welds; increased length; cracked, spread or twisted hooks; deformation, deterioration or damage must be immediately removed from service and no sling assembly should be used without a legible rated capacity tag firmly affixed.

QUESTION
Does OSHA require all cranes to have a warning device, for example, a horn or light?

ANSWER
Section 1910.179(i) specifically states: “Except for floor-operated cranes, a gong or other effective warning signal shall be provided for each crane equipped with a power traveling mechanism”. However, keep in mind that the rules created by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), which are accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), can be just as binding in a court of law. ANSI B30.17-1.12 clearly states: “On cab operated and remote operated cranes, a gong or other warning means shall be provided for each crane equipped with a power traveling bridge or trolley”.
Both OSHA and ANSI indicate when a warning device should be used. OSHA section 1910.179(n)(3)(xi) states: “The warning signal shall be sounded when starting the bridge and when the load or hook approaches near or over personnel”. ANSI B30.17-3.1.5(o)(1) and (2) also state that a warning device such as a horn or light shall be activated “before starting the bridge or trolley motion of the crane and intermittently during travel of the crane when approaching persons in the path of the load”.
We interpret this to mean that a warning device is required on radio controlled, cab operated and pulpit operated cranes.

QUESTION
We always recommend 4 bar electrification, especially when inverters are used. Is there an official NEC position?

ANSWER
NEC Section 610.61 was revised in the 2005 edition to no longer permit trolley and bridge frames to be considered electrically grounded through the trolley and bridge wheels to their respective tracks. This was allowed in the past. A separate grounding conductor must be provided for new installations. We are interpreting this to mean new systems. Existing 3 conductor 3 phase systems can be repaired, modified or even extended. Additional cranes can be added to an existing system using 3 conductors. When variable frequency drives are used, we insist on 4 conductors.

QUESTION
What are the OSHA required inspections for cranes and hoists in regular use and what is the frequency?

ANSWER
Section 1910.179 of the federal regulations (OSHA) section (j)(1) specifically states: Frequent Inspections-Daily to Monthly intervals and Periodic Inspections-1 to 12 month intervals. There are also some items that require inspections daily. In section (n) there are items that are requiring inspections daily. We are interpreting this to mean the following:

Each manufacturer has requirements for their equipment depending on the crane or hoist class and duty cycle.

At a minimum, crane operators are required to perform a non-documented inspection of a crane or hoist at the start of their crane shift. Also, each crane or hoist in regular use must be inspected once a month with a signed report in accordance with the frequent inspection requirements of section (j). Each crane or hoist in regular use must be inspected once a year with a signed report in accordance with the periodic inspection requirements of section (j).

This means eleven monthly and one annual inspection per crane per year as a minimum with signed reports. The operator is required to know how to perform the operational check and must be the one to do so. However the manufacturer may require more inspections for your crane.

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QUESTION
Do cranes and hoists not in service need to be inspected per OSHA?

ANSWER
Section 1910.179(j)(4) states that a crane that has been idle for a month or more, but less than six months, shall be given a frequent inspection and the wire rope or chain must have an inspection with a signed report before placing in service. A crane that has been idle for more than six months shall be given a complete periodic inspection, including a wire rope and chain inspection before placing in service.

We interpret this to mean that a unit not in service needs to be tagged "out of service" and given one of the above inspections when put back into use.

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QUESTION
We have an older overhead crane in our facility that is beginning to show its age with more frequent break downs, interruption in production and difficulty in obtaining repair parts. Is it possible to modernize our older crane to current designed electrical and mechanical components? Is this approach cost effective?

ANSWER
This is usually an excellent alternative to purchasing a new crane. The limiting factors would be the age of the crane, type of end trucks and wheels on the bridge and trolley, motor/gear reducers, controls, wiring etc. A crane originally manufactured in the 60's, 70's and 80's would be worth the rebuild investment. Design criteria was different with a "bigger is better" mentality and cranes of these eras were usually manufactured to meet or exceed CMAA, ANSI and other applicable standards. OMH would be available to evaluate your existing equipment and provide a quotation to modernize.

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