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Overhead Crane Safety: Inspections and Requirements

A recent crane safety study—spanning over ten years—analyzed 249 industrial overhead crane accidents. Across these 249 incidents, a staggering 838 OSHA violations were committed.

Overhead cranes are often described as safer compared to mobile cranes because they’re fixed in one location. While that may hold true in some cases, overhead cranes present their own set of hazards—and without regular inspection and maintenance, these risks multiply.

Investing in safe crane practices can help prevent injury, loss of life, and the costs associated with unplanned downtime, including non-compliance fines and workers’ compensation.

In this blog post, we’ll discuss some major inspection and maintenance requirements of overhead cranes.


Routine inspection is necessary to ensure safe overhead crane operations. Wear-and-tear is quite common in overhead cranes because they’re used frequently and often transport hefty loads.

A new crane must be thoroughly inspected before initial use. Once it’s starts operating, supervisors need to ensure both frequent and periodic inspections are carried out. They both examine different key components of the crane and deal with any faults before they can escalate.

Let’s go over each.

Frequent Inspection

Frequent inspections take place daily or weekly and examine the following items:

  • Functional operating parts should be inspected for maladjustment

  • Hydraulic and air system mechanisms checked for deterioration

  • Crane hooks examined for cracks or deformities

Periodic Inspection

Periodic inspections take place every month and at the end of each year. They require:

  • Rope and end links to be checked for broken strands or wear

  • Hoist chains to be checked for distortion, stretching and excessive abrasion

  • Inspection logs to be updated accurately once the inspection is complete


According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), users must comply with maintenance procedures outlined by the manufacturers. Scheduled maintenance, repairs, and replacements must be carried out as instructed by authorized personnel.

If any deteriorated parts or faults have been uncovered during inspections, it’s necessary to make repairs, and re-inspect before use.


Under the 29 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 1910.179 outlined by OSHA, the design of your crane must comply with the standards outlined in this code.

These include—among other things—footwalks, ladders, trolleys, bridge brakes, electrical components, hoisting mechanism, and warning systems. While the responsibility of design lies largely with the manufacturer, you must source the crane and related warning systems from reliable sources.

Learn more about Crane Warning Systems Atlanta

RaycoWylie is the leading manufacturer of crane monitoring systems throughout the world. Their simple and reliable products have made them a popular choice among crane operators and construction managers.

Crane Warning Systems Atlanta is the oldest and largest distributor for RaycoWylie. We offer a wide range of crane safety systems, including crane LMI system

To find out about our products, get in touch online or call 1-877-672-2951.

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