What Parts of a Crane Must Be Included in Safety Inspections?

October 13, 2022 at 10:00 PM
A while ago I had the privilege of going into a major construction project in London to take photos of people at work.

When your warehouse, factory, or plant has indoor overhead cranes, hoists, or lifts, they must be in good working order. When it comes to inspection, your machines must be OSHA compliant, or your shop risks punishment by law.

Having crane parts inspected and certified at the right frequency and by a certified inspector is the best way to remain OSHA-compliant and run a safe, efficient workspace. However, owners and operators of overhead cranes should also monitor crane parts daily. Knowing what to look out for can mean the difference between certification and failure, but more importantly, safety and disaster.

Why Do Cranes and Crane Parts Need


Consistent use of any machine causes degradation and the potential for wear damage. This is true for cranes as well. OSHA requires that active cranes be inspected annually, but responsible owners know that maintenance should be constant and high-quality. Personnel should conduct routine inspections to note possible problems and either perform repairs or track the breakdown of parts to avoid costly replacement in the long run.

Which Crane Parts Need Inspection?

OSHA recommends that before every use, the following parts need to be inspected. Officially checking these parts regularly will ensure that you spot any problems arising so they can be addressed before serious breakdowns. Parts to be examined include:

  • Trolleys
  • Hoists
  • Runways
  • Wire ropes
  • Bushings and strain relief
  • Pendant pushbutton controls
  • Crane exteriors
  • Reeves and grooves
  • Crane hooks
  • Safety latches
  • Hook nuts

Additionally, mechanical parts need an inspection. Check engines for fluid levels and oil leaks, the structural integrity of end trucks and hoisting mechanisms, and the cab control system. Finally, electrical sockets, wires, and plugs should be checked for consistent, smooth power supply.

What Damage Should Operators Check For Daily?

Daily inspection primarily identifies the first hint of problems or breakdowns in the crane parts. Operators should look out for

  • Structural damage
  • Cracks, dents, discoloration, missing labels, torn parts, and rust
  • Absence of capacity markings
  • Rough sheaves
  • Broken and non-intact sheave guards
  • Hook wearing

Who Is Qualified to Inspect Cranes and Crane Parts?

Certified crane inspectors are the only people who are officially qualified to inspect cranes for certification and insurance purposes. Crane inspectors should also have formal training in the following:

  • Crane and hoist terminology
  • Safety and design codes related to overhead cranes
  • Local and federal safety standards
  • Best practices for the safe operation of cranes and hoists
  • Experience in correctly writing reports and documenting inspections

These specially trained inspectors have over 2,000 field hours of crane experience, such as maintenance, servicing, repairing, modifying, and functional testing of cranes, crane parts, and other hoisting equipment.

How Often Should Cranes and Crane Parts Be Inspected?

When determining an inspection schedule, operators must consider the frequency and intensity of the crane's work. Of course, daily inspection is crucial for all cranes, but the main benefactors of these frequent inspections are the cranes or hoists that regularly perform heavy work. Similarly, the age of a machine must be taken into account. The older the machine, the more carefully it should be checked for signs of wear. Finally, knowing manufacturers recommended inspection intervals as well as the legally required inspection intervals will give operators the last pieces of information they need to make safe, informed schedules for machine inspection.

Legally required inspections fall into four categories, per OSHA guidelines. They include initial inspection (upon installation of machinery), functional inspection (daily), frequent inspection (monthly), and periodic inspection (yearly).

T&M Cranes: Solutions for Crane Parts,

Inspections, and Equipment

T&M Cranes are the family-owned crane and hoist suppliers American manufacturers turn to for high-quality, reliable machinery. We offer state-of-the-art cranes and hoists, crane parts, and inspection services. Customers ready to invest in excellent machines and are committed to safety can Contact us today for expert guidance and information.