crane and hoist inspections

Overhead cranes and hoists are absolutely vital in constructing up-to-date and safe buildings in an economical fashion. Reliable and efficient equipment doesn’t appear and function perfectly with the snap of a finger; it takes of team of detail-oriented individuals.In seemingly every realm of organized activity, preventable mistakes happen. One brilliant idea, a checklist, can help eradicate many preventable mistakes, accidents and mishaps. On a construction site, checklists are crucial. Many steps are necessary to ensure that machines are functioning at their best. Crane and hoist inspections demand the use of a thorough checklist to prevent injuries and mistakes in even the most competent workplace. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulates and mandates the safety of all workers in the United States. Within the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR), there are many sections that pertain to each type of work environment, one of them being the construction industry, or other places in which cranes are utilized.

Cranes and hoists are somewhat similar in the sense that they are both designed to move objects from one point to another. Despite the several varieties of overhead cranes, their primary function is to lift, lower, and horizontally transport materials that cannot be moved in other ways.The most important point to consider is that inspections should be completed before and after every use of the crane system. These inspections should also be performed based on an effective and detailed checklist (refer to OSHA 1910.179).

Daily Inspection Checklist

Be aware that all inspections need to be completed by the crane operator at the beginning of each shift, or prior to use. The first step is to confirm that all safety equipment is present and then check to see if the crane has been locked-out or tagged-out. Next: check for any lingering safety hazards.

  • Know the location of the crane disconnect switch.
  • No warning signs should exist in the area of the push button pendant.
  • Ensure that no individuals are located in the surrounding area.
  • Confirm that the given load can move without hindrance.
  • Confirm that the area through which and to which the load is being transported is free of obstructions.
  • Confirm that the load capacity is less than or equal to the given capacity of the machine.


Preliminary checks that can be started once safety hazards have been cleared:

  • Verify that no loose, damaged, or broken parts exist on the hoist, trolley, bridge, runway, or electric systems.
  • Ensure that the wire rope is reeved and positioned correctly in the proper grooves.
  • Make sure that no two sections of the wire rope are touching.
  • Confirm that no objects are in contact with open power or electrical sources.
  • Confirm that no bushings or strain reliefs have caused the wire to be pulled.
  • Verify that all controls are in working condition (no torn parts, cracks, or nonexistent labels).


Once the safety and preliminary checks have been done, the crane inspector can move on to inspecting the overhead crane itself. This requires confirmation that there are no potential malfunctions or existing safety hazards. There are five daily equipment checkouts that are require attention. These include:

  • Powered Systems
  • Hooks
  • Button Block Assembly
  • Wire Rope and Load Chain
  • Miscellaneous Items


All of the above include their own specific checklist. Checklists may seem arbitrary, time-consuming, and non-essential to a well-organized work environment. Studies and experience from professionals have negated that invalid opinion. The efficacy of the work place environment has only improved by leaps and bounds with the implementation of various checklists. Without the aid of a checklist, human brains can only function so diligently and recall so much information; and will never be able to adequately fulfill the rigorous standards that are demanded of an efficient, safe, and reliable work environment.