Hoist Pre-Operational Safety Inspection Part 1: Safety Standards and Regulations

Hoist Pre-Operational Safety Inspection Part 1: Safety Standards and Regulations

This article is Part 1 of a 7-part blog series that will cover what operators should consider when performing a pre-operational hoist safety inspection. Today, we’ll discuss Safety Standards and Regulations.

When using hoisting equipment, it is very important to know and understand all of the safety and inspection standards that apply to your lifting system. Depending on the type of equipment you are using, different standards may apply. This can often be confusing as different regulations apply to different parts of the lifting system.

To explain, let’s start with an overview of the most important safety standards and which part of the lifting system they apply to.

ASME is an organization that provides design and inspection standards for hoists and rigging products. ASME is a voluntary committee made up of industry experts. Their standards are voluntary standards updated every three years – not laws like OSHA regulations. Standards are used as guidance for safety because many of our products do not have applicable OSHA regulations.

The first ASME standard you need to be aware of is ASME B30.16. This standard applies to underhung powered hoists, including electric and air, as well as chainfalls. This standard covers construction, marking, inspection, use, and training.

In the entertainment industry, these hoists are covered by ANSI E1.6-2.  We recommend if you are in entertainment to obtain a copy of both standards.

Electric Hoists, safety standards
ASME B30.16 Electric Hoists
Air Hoists, safety standards
ASME B30.16 Air Hoists


Manual Hoists
ASME B30.16 Manual Hoists/Chainfalls

The second standard to be aware of is ASME B30.21, which applies to lever hoists, including chain, wire rope and strap hoists.

ASME B30.21 Lever Hoists, safety standards
ASME B30.21 Lever Hoists

Where it gets complicated is that, in many cases, there are multiple safety standards you need to understand to use or inspect a single hoist. Take the CM Bandit for example:

  • ASME B30.21 applies to the entire hoist
  • ASME B30.10 applies to hook inspection, how to use the hook properly, etc.

In this case, you have to understand two standards to ensure proper use and inspection of the Bandit hoist.

CM Bandit, safety standards

When using a full lifting system, the number of applicable safety standards can be even more overwhelming.

Below is a diagram of all the standards that can affect a single lifting system. Depending on whether you’re an operator or inspector, there are specific parts of these regulations you need to know detail. When in doubt, always check with the equipment manufacturer.
ASME safety standards

We know that understanding all of these regulations is no small task and that’s where Columbus McKinnon can help! CMCO’s professional training department can provide in-depth training on these regulations through an extensive training course offering. Learn more.

Updated on 11/9/15 to address hoists used in the entertainment industry.

Peter Cooke

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

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4 Replies to “Hoist Pre-Operational Safety Inspection Part 1: Safety Standards and Regulations”

  1. I would like to say that your blog is well-written and it contains lots of useful and up-to-date information.

  2. Great intro to ANSI/ASME standards. Thankfully – the requirements for frequent inspections are very similar despite the array of standards!

    Looking forward to Part 2. As my expertise regards General Industry and the 1910 regulations, I’d be interested to see more details on the differences between requirements for General Industry / Construction / Longshoring / Etc.

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