During my training sessions, I am frequently asked if hoist hooks can be repaired if they are damaged or broken. OSHA and ASME regulations provide specific requirements for hoist hook repair to help answer this question.
According to OSHA 1910.179 (L)(3)(iii)(A), hook repairs by welding or reshaping are not generally recommended. If such repairs are attempted they shall be done under competent supervision and the hook shall be load tested before further use.
While OSHA 1910.179 specifically pertains to a crane with top-running girders and top-running trolleys, it states that hook repair is allowed under certain conditions.
On the other hand, ASME B-30.10 Section 10-1.3 (d) states that “attachments, such as handles, latch supports, etc. shall not be welded to a finished hook in field applications. If welding of an attachment such as these is required, it shall be done in manufacturing or fabrication prior to any required final heat treatment.”
So the question remains, can hoist hooks be repaired?
Typically hoist hooks are forgings processed from hot-rolled alloy steel blanks of medium carbon content, such as grade AISI 4140. Hooks can be used in the “as forged” condition or further enhanced by thermal processing (heat treatment). Although fatigue strength improves with heat treatment, there is a resulting loss of ductility and elongation.
A repair that involves welding or any kind of heat treatment can affect the strength and ratings of a hook and therefore is not recommended.
Keep in mind, when a hook is damaged or broken, it can be an indicator that the hoist was overloaded, in which case the entire unit should be inspected for other damages.
In addition to referencing OSHA and ANSI requirements for hook repair, we also recommend that you always contact the manufacturer before making any questionable repairs on their products.
For more information on this topic, check out our Pre-operational Hoist Inspection video.
Further your education on crane and hoist operation and inspection. Check out these upcoming training courses from Columbus McKinnon:
What other hoist or rigging questions do you have?