Mobile and locomotive cranes are indispensable pieces of equipment that are standard on many construction sites and industrial areas. No wonder that these massive devices can cause great damage if improperly used, which is why crane inspections are essential for occupational safety.

According to the latest data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are 44 crane deaths and hundreds of injuries each year. Most of these injuries are caused by contact with an object or equipment, a fall, a transportation accident, or exposure to electrical current.


Perhaps the best way to improve crane safety in the workplace is to hire a crane inspection service to pinpoint safety risks or violations. Here’s what you need to know about hiring these type of inspection services and why they might be the best choice for your job site.

1. Who is certified to inspect a crane?

OSHA states that only qualified personnel can perform a tower crane inspection or a mobile crane inspection. In OSHA Standard 1926.1401 Subpart CC, OSHA states that a competent person must perform all inspections. According to OSHA, a competent person means “someone who is able to recognize existing and foreseeable hazards in the environment or in working conditions that are unsanitary, dangerous or dangerous to employees, and who is authorized to take prompt corrective action to eliminate them “.

The person responsible for the crane inspection must have specialist knowledge. First, they need to understand all of the OSHA safety requirements for the equipment, such as: B. Blocking / labeling systems and load tables. Second, they need to be familiar with the machine itself in order to identify mechanical problems.

For this reason, it is highly recommended that you hire a crane inspection service to thoroughly check all aspects of your rigging equipment. While an operator is experienced and seemingly “qualified”, they may not be familiar with the latest OSHA regulations or understand every problem.

Instead, it is best to hire inspectors or a crane and rigging consultant to certify from organizations like NCCCO (National Commission for the Certification of Crane Operators).

2. When are inspections required?

According to OSHA’s 1926.1400, all power operated equipment, including tower, mobile, and locomotive cranes, must meet set safety standards. In addition, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) also has a standard code for the inspection process of cranes according to ASME B30.3 and B30.5.

In order to meet these set standards, a tower crane inspection or mobile crane inspection must be carried out before each shift. The inspector should examine the crane for signs of safety problems or hazards such as damage to equipment or improperly attached parts.

Tower lifting and rigging equipment such as hooks, slings and cables must be checked every month for signs of wear or damage. Larger pieces of equipment, such as B. Locking devices and braking systems must be checked every 3 to 6 months.

There are also special situations that require review. For example, a review of modified equipment is required if parts have recently been replaced or changed. After moving a crane to a new location, post-assembly inspections must be performed.

Finally, a comprehensive annual inspection by a qualified person or body, such as B. a crane inspection service is required. This is a more thorough inspection of all parts and parts of the crane and equipment to identify damage, safety hazards, or OSHA violations.

3. What documentation does OSHA need?

All inspections (including daily) must be documented and logged. OSHA provides pre-built crane inspection report checklists that summarize all of the information you need. Daily and monthly inspections must include the date, name of the inspector, serial number of the hoist, and any damage found.


Annual crane inspections go much deeper and require detailed information on specific parts. An annual tower crane inspection or mobile crane inspection includes:

  • Check for cracked, rusted, or deformed hardware
  • Loose screws
  • Worn or cracked sheaves and drums
  • Damaged or worn pins, bearings, shafts, gears, rollers and locking devices
  • Signs of wear and tear on brake system parts, including pads, pawls and pawls
  • Significant inaccuracies in load or wind indicators
  • Excessive chain or wire rope stretch
  • Electrical control problems

The inspector must take careful notes and document any discrepancies or concerns.


Tower crane inspections are required by law to ensure a safe work environment without any safety risks. Therefore, all inspections must be carried out carefully and correctly each time.

The only people who can perform adequate inspections are those who have received specific training on that particular equipment. The best way to ensure that your cranes pass the inspections is to work with a qualified crane inspection service.

Author name: Craig Hautamaki

Author biography: Craig Hautmaki works with the Colorado Crane Operator School, an industry-leading crane and rigging training school and safety consulting company. He is an NCCCO accredited practical examiner and has over 15 years of experience in the oil and gas, construction and general industries.