Crane inspection documentation: What is required?

Crane inspection documentation: What is required?

Doug from Ontario, New York asks:

Under what circumstances must inspections be documented for Overhead Top Running Double Girder Bridge Cranes in regular service?

Peter answers:

The complete inspection requirements for Overhead Top Running Double Girder Bridge Cranes in regular service in the United States are governed by the following two regulations:

OSHA 1910.179 (j)(1)(ii)(b) and ASME B30.2-2.1.1(2)  which state that Periodic Inspections are required on 1-12 month intervals.

OSHA requires Certification Records at one month intervals which include the date of inspection, the signature of the person who performed the inspection and the serial number (hoist), or other identifier (location of the hoist) of the hook, chain or running rope that was inspected. 

The three hoist/crane components that require “Certificate of Record” are:

Peter Cooke

Peter Cooke is a former Training Manager for Columbus McKinnon Corporation, having specialized in Rigging & Load Securement.

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15 Replies to “Crane inspection documentation: What is required?”

  1. In response to your question, Tom Reardon, one of CMCO’s overhead crane and hoist trainers said:

    If we are discussing overhead cranes, technically speaking, and according to industry standards, a pre-operational inspection is required on each and every crane that is used during a shift. These same standards do not make documentation of the inspections mandatory.

    My personal opinion is that documentation is important and records should be retained. I would suggest keeping the daily “Pre-operational Inspections” for a period of at least 30 days.

  2. We have daily (each shift) inspections done by the operators which are logged and filed. We also have the less frequent (monthly/annual). My question is, on the daily logs, how long do these need to be kept?
    For mobile equipment, I found info which allows the employer leeway in deciding the length of time for retention. I can’t find any information on retention requirements for cranes.
    Can you help with any info in this area?

  3. Thanks for your answer for crane inspections, Peter! I can see why crane inspections are required on 1-12 month intervals. That seems like a good way for workers to know that they’re safe to operate. I can see why OSHA would require Certification Records that provide details about the inspection, the signature of the person who looked at the crane, and other identifiers of the equipment. That information seems important to know what kinds of repairs a piece of machinery needed.

  4. Hello Eliza,
    This sounds more like a mobile crane application.
    You will need to contact a mobile crane dealer or distributor and OSHA for more information.

  5. Thank you for the information on crane inspections. I’m thinking of buying or hiring a crane and would like to make sure it is safe and up to regulation. Do you know where I can find access to those regulations and who can perform an inspection?

  6. Hi Keith,

    There are several resources for the information you seek.

    OSHA 1910.170 Section (j) will provide you with inspection intervals/classifications along with required items to inspect on Top Running Overhead and Gantry Cranes.
    ASME B30.2 is another excellent resource for Top Running Overhead and Gantry Crane Inspections.
    ASME B30.11 will provide the same great information on inspection intervals and scope for Underhung Cranes and Monorails.
    ASME B30.16 will provide information for inspection intervals and scope of inspections for Overhead Hoists Underhung.

    Becoming familiar with the information in these publications would certainly keep you busy for a good long while.


  7. I was looking for information on the actual inspection process that happens with crane equipment. I knew that it was inspected at a certain interval, but I had no idea how often that was or what the inspection entails. I’m trying to learn as much as I can about a wide variety of safety processes that occur around a work site. Thanks for posting this.

  8. It is good to know that OSHA requires inspection records every month. Safety definitely is important and having the records on hand should help with that. Hopefully, the constant inspections will help keep companies safe and running for a long time.

  9. I had never considered asking for crane inspection records. That is a great idea. That way to know the condition the machine has been in the past, and what updates it has had. Thank you for sharing your comments.

  10. Hello Deanna,
    Thank you for your comment. Since mobile cranes are not our area of expertise, we have referred your question to Debbie Dickinson, Development Director for Crane Industry Services. Here are her comments:

    An annual inspection is a minimum requirement. But if the rented crane has been assembled or disassembled, which is highly likely for a crane rental, you would be wise to ask for inspection records and require an inspection, by a qualified inspector, once the crane is set up for work on your job site. The site manager is also responsible for the travel access prior to the set up.
    We provide a one day course on site management safety, if you would be interested.

    If you have any further questions, feel free to contact Debbie directly at
    Their website is

    Thanks again for reaching out to us!

  11. Thanks for the tips! I want to rent a crane for a huge construction project that I’m working on. It’s important to me that it’s safe though. I didn’t know that cranes are supposed to be inspected at least once a year. I’ll be sure to check about that while I’m picking out cranes.

  12. Thanks for sharing this! I need to make sure that I can run my cranes as well. I’ll be sure that the inspections are documented. I don’t want to be doing any work illegally! That’s just bad for business.

  13. Hi Peter,

    Great post. Can you elaborate on the monthly Certification Records? Do these need to be done by a 3rd party, or can any “competent person” perform these?


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