crane and hoist inspections

Last month, we discussed how crucial a checklist is in so many different facets of life. The workplace, whether it’s set in a hospital, a restaurant or a construction site, demands that humans employ a checklist in their day-to-day tasks in order to stay on top of important workplace tasks. Not only is a checklist key to ensuring that each step in a process is done completely, but also in preparing an individual and potentially, machine, to fulfill the day’s work. An example everyone is probably familiar with: before a ride operator can begin to run an amusement park ride for the day, they must take preparatory steps in order to determine if the ride is safe. As a follow-up to our last blog post, today’s we’ll expound on some more specific crane and hoist inspections checklists that should follow the preliminary safety checks.

Many of these steps that we take in preparation are ordered by the manufacturing company of the machine. Because they designed, built, and have experience with the apparatus, they know its ins and outs. In other words, they are adept at predetermining where things can go haywire and potentially cause harm. It may be the smallest part or facet of the appliance, but it’s important enough that it could instigate a series of issues. In order to prevent this domino effect of future problems, it’s vital to work through a checklist for each part of the machine before using it. The thought of doing this may seem mundane and cumbersome, but it is absolutely necessary and should never be skipped or taken lightly.

Once the preliminary checklist is completed each day by the crane operator, the next step is to work through checking the crane itself for looming hazards. The first checklist that demands attention is the Powered Systems list.

crane and hoist inspections

Powered Systems Checklist:

  1. With the pushbutton turned off, ensure that no buttons are sticking and that they are functioning correctly. When any button is released, it should return to its normal position without assistance.
  2. After turning the push button on, make sure that the crane warning device is working.
  3. When the button is moved to the “up” position, the hoist hook should rise.
  4. Ensure that the upper limit switch works correctly.
  5. Make sure that all other push button controls are functioning properly and moving in the correct direction.


Daily Equipment Safety Checkout (Hooks):

  1. There should be no more than 10 percent wear on any of the hooks at any time.
  2. Ensure that there are no bends, twists or cracks in the hooks.
  3. Make sure the safety latches are in the correct place and operating smoothly.
  4. If the hook nut is visible, check that it is secure and locked to hook.
  5. The hook should rotate freely without any kind of grinding.


Daily Equipment Safety Checkout (Bottom Block Assembly):

Check the bottom block assembly for:

  • Damage to the structure
  • Cracks to any part of the assembly
  • Presence of capacity markings
  • Freely rotating sheaves (there should be no grinding)
  • Smooth sheaves that are intact and not broken


Daily Equipment Safety Checkout (Wire Rope and Load Chain):

  1. Walk 360° around the hook block to thoroughly examine all parts of the wire rope and chain.
  2. There should be no broken wires or a reduction in diameter.
  3. The wire rope should have no kinking, crushing, cutting, un-stranding, or thermal damage.
  4. Ensure that there are no cracks, gouges, nicks, corrosion, or any distortion on any sections of the load chain.
  5. Check that the sprockets are functioning properly.


Daily Equipment Safety Checkout (Miscellaneous Items):

  • Verify that the bridge trolley and motors operate properly.
  • When releasing the controls in the up or down position, make sure that there is no hook drift.
  • Verify that there are no oil leaks.
  • Ensure that there are no loose items on the crane that could fall.
  • Make sure that a functioning fire extinguisher is always nearby.


These five checklists are essential to ensuring that an overhead crane is safe to operate and does not lead to further problems down the line. OSHA has set these checklists as official overhead crane checklists. It’s key to make sure that they are a part of your staff’s daily routine. If you have any questions, feel free to ask us about our OSHA compliant inspection program. Visit our website to learn more.