The Importance of Inspecting Equipment Regularly and Only Operating Equipment you are Trained to Operate

The Manchester evening news reported an engineering firm in Manchester was fined £80,000 ($130,000) after a worker's hand was badly mangled while he was operating a crane. The "full article" seen here, states that the man "was operating an overhead crane to lift equipment weighing nearly 700 lb. using straps that had already been placed around it. As he moved the crane with a poorly-labelled hand-held control, the equipment slipped out of the straps and started to fall towards him." It was also stated that he, "...had also never received any formal training to use the crane, despite working for the firm for nearly three months." Had he been trained properly, he may have taken the time to inspect the load that someone else had strapped and inspect the pendant labels and controls before operating, this accident may have been avoidable.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there have been on average around 60 on-site deaths a year related to material moving equipment operators since 1992. Unfortunately, many of these deaths are preventable if the following inspection and maintenance practices are in place. It is important to refer to A.N.S.I. B30.16 Standard Safety Code for Overhead Hoists (Underhung) and Hoist Manufacturers.
As seen here in Grainger's great "Overhead Hoist Inspection" article, "A designated person should inspect hoists before their initial use and on regular intervals to verify compliance with ASME/ANSI B30.16. The inspections are classified into frequent inspections that do not require documentation and periodic inspections that require documentation. The interval between inspections depends on the service of the hoist. The owner's manual specific to the hoist is another good source for inspection and maintenance requirements and should be based on the requirements of this standard."
As stated in section 16-2.3.3 of A.N.S.I B30.16 "Adjustments, Repairs, and Replacements" A preventative maintenance program should be established. It also reiterates the importance of immediately fixing items found to be dangerous or faulty after an inspection before the operators can use the hoist or crane again. It is very important that the operator not operate a hoist that,
  • is missing function labels or has illegible functions labels on pendant control stations
  • is missing warning labels or has illegible warning labels
  • has a hook traveling in a direction different from what is show on the control
Please visit our "Online Store - Electrification & Controls Page" to find replacement pendants and inserts as well as all of your other electrification needs.
Please visit our "Certified Crane Care" site to find contact information for one of our service branches near you. Our service team specializes in five distinct types of service, in-house repairs, inspections, emergency service, installations, and modification projects and will recommended any immediate changes and replacements that should be made to improve your overall safety. 
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