Safer Handling: Hoist Inspection Guidelines
Overhead hoists are used in manufacturing and warehousing facilities to lift, lower, handle and move loads. For safe operation, regular hoist inspections are critical. Unfortunately, some companies wait until there is an accident before they recognize the importance of committing to a hoist inspection program.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Hoist Manufacturers Institute (HMI) specify regular inspections of hoists to identify wear or damage that could be detrimental to their safe use. HMI is an affiliated trade association of MHI. HMI members are the leading manufacturers of hoists who work collaboratively to improve lifting safety. They offer the following guidance for implementing proper hoist inspection programs.
Since OSHA has no specific regulations for hoist inspections, users should be guided by OSHA—CFR 29 Part 1910.179. This is the federal regulation providing the occupational safety and health standards applicable to overhead and gantry cranes. Overhead hoists are typically attached to these cranes.
ASME standards are generally known as “national consensus standards” and serve as guides to government authorities, manufacturers, purchasers, sellers and users who employ these devices. ASME B30.16 Overhead Hoists (Underhung) is the standard specific to overhead hoists.
OSHA requires all new and altered cranes and the attached hoists to be inspected prior to use and at regular intervals. Inspections must be done by qualified persons who have been trained in hoist inspection. ASME defines qualified persons as people who, by possession of a recognized degree in an applicable field or certificate of professional standing or by extensive knowledge, training and experience have successfully demonstrated the ability to solve or resolve problems relating to the subject matter and work.