If you’re using an EOT crane for material handling, it’s important to implement a preventative maintenance program based on the crane manufacturer's recommendations. This maintenance program should be centered on a thorough and effective safety inspection plan, which is conducted regularly. If a crane inspector detects deteriorated components or unsafe conditions during a required inspection, they must be repaired before any worker can resume use of the system.
In order to implement a proper and thorough preventative maintenance program, you must first consider a daily inspection and safety procedure checklist. Following a checklist to ensure your EOT crane is receiving proper maintenance will not only allow you to keep your system in working order for much longer, it will also preserve your warranty and prevent potential worker safety concerns from arising.
While only designated personnel may perform required maintenance and repairs on EOT crane systems, the crane operator should conduct inspections on a daily basis before and after use. A daily inspection checklist should be used and signed off on to ensure an effective and thorough assessment. OSHA 1910.179 refers to this daily inspection as a safety check. According to OSHA, the safety check must include all hoists and cranes prior to use at the beginning of each shift. Furthermore, visual assessments must be limited to areas that can be inspected from the floor, a catwalk, or other safe observation point.
According to OSHA 1910.179, the daily safety inspection must be conducted by the crane operator each day and/or prior to use at the beginning of each shift. To start, the operator should ensure that all required safety equipment is present and in use. He or she should also be trained and authorized to use the equipment in question.
Once the operator has ensured all safety equipment is present and in use, he or she should then check to see if the crane or hoist has been locked-out or tagged-out. OSHA 29 CFR 1910.147 mandates that the control of hazardous energy or lockout/tagout must be used to de-energize the crane. Before the operator begins the safety inspection, he or she should assess the area around the crane for potential safety hazards.
Know where the crane disconnect switch is located.
Verify there are no warning signs on or around the push button pendant.
Make sure workers aren't performing their duties nearby.
Ensure that the load can travel freely or without impediments.
Ensure there are no obstructions in or around the area where the load will be moved, and that the area is large enough to move and place materials safely.
Check that all below-the-hook devices are designed for the crane in use and can safely lift loads.
Ensure that the load cpacity is less than or equal to the rated capacity of the crane.
Once the crane operator has checked out the area around the crane, he or she can begin a preliminary equipment checkout. Preliminary checkouts should occur before the operator touches any crane controls.
Ensure there are no loose, broken, or damaged parts on the hoist, trolley, bridge, runway, or electric systems.
Check that the wire rope is reeved and seated in the drum grooves properly.
Verify that the bottom block is not twisted (no two lengths of wire rope should touch).
Check that nothing is contacted or close to open power sources and that enclosures are secured.
Ensure there are no wires pulled from strain reliefs or bushings.
Verify that the pushbutton pendant controls are not damaged (check for cracks, torn parts, or missing labels).
After checking out the crane area and conducting a preliminary equipment checkout, the crane operator can inspect the EOT crane itself for any potential malfunctions or safety hazards.
With the pushbutton turned off—check that the buttons are not sticking and operating smoothly. When the button is released, it should always return to the off position automatically.
With the pushbutton turned on—check that the crane warning device operates properly.
Ensure that the hoist hook rises when the button is pushed to the “up” position.
Check that the upper limit switch is functioning properly.
Ensure that all other pushbutton controls are operating properly and moving in the right direction.
Check that there’s no more that 10 percent wear on any part of the hook.
Check for bending or twisting and cracks.
Check that safety latches are in place and functioning properly.
Ensure that the hook nut (if visible) is tight and locked to hook.
Make sure that the hook rotates freely without grinding.
Check bottom block assembly for:
Cracks on any component
Capacity markings are present
Sheaves rotate freely without grinding
Sheaves are smooth
Sheave guards are intact and unbroken
Check wire rope and load chain by walking 360 degrees around the hook block and examining wire rope/chain.
Check that there’s no reduction in diameter.
Check that there are no broken wires.
Make sure there’s no kinking, cutting, crushing, un-stranding, or thermal damage to the wire rope.
Check that there are no cracks, gouges, nicks, corrosion, or distortion on any link of the load chain.
Ensure that there’s no wear at contact points.
Verify chain sprockets are operating smoothly.
Ensure the bridge and trolley motor brakes operate properly.
Check that there is little or no hook drift when releasing controls in the up or down position.
Check that the trolley and bridge are on-track and functioning smoothly.
Ensure there are no loose items on the crane that could fall
Check for oil leaks.
Ensure a working fire extinguisher is available if needed.
Check that air or hydraulic lines are in working condition.
And, ensure all below-the-hook devices are in good condition.
Effective daily safety inspections are essential to the maintenance of any EOT crane system. It’s important to create a safety regimen following the inspection checklist listed above, and to stop using the crane immediately if any malfunction, unusual noises or movements are detected.