Before using a hoist, operators should inspect for proper reeving and integrity of the load chain, the braking system, and the hook and hook latch. Additionally, operators should observe the hoist during operation for unusual sounds or improperly adjusted mechanisms.
For electric- or air-powered hoists, operators should also inspect limiting controls for proper operation. Air lines and valves should be checked for leakage.
Hoists should be inspected at regular intervals determined by the service conditions under which the hoist is used. Frequent visual inspections of the chain, hook and brake should be conducted monthly under normal operating conditions, weekly under heavy operating conditions, and daily under severe operating conditions. Operators are not required to document visual inspections.
Operators should conduct periodic, documented inspections of hoist nuts, rivets, sprockets and other hardware for evidence of distortion, cracks, corrosion and general wear. Operators are also required to inspect and maintain all warning and instruction labels on the machinery for legibility. Damaged, illegible labels must be replaced.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration mandates proper hoist inspections under standard number 1910.179 for overhead and gantry cranes. Underhung hoists are specifically addressed in the ASME/ANSI B30.16-2003 standard, a consensus standard used by OSHA to inform citation decisions under the general duty clause.