It is critically important that lifting equipment is in proper working order before placing it in service, for the safety of both employees and a facility. When it comes to safety, any part of the equipment inspection cannot afford to be overlooked. The equipment inspection and maintenance process include the testing of equipment before it is used in operations.
Load testing is an essential tool that helps to ensure overhead hoist and crane safety; load testing is “the process of putting demand on a software system or computing device and measuring its response. It is often performed to determine a system’s behaviour under both normal and anticipated peak load conditions.
We will be going in-depth about the importance of load testing overhead hoists and cranes throughout this blog post.
So what are some of the Reasons why People Have Load Testing Completed?
- Load Testing is not an optional choice, it is mandatory. The Provincial Labour laws and the resulting Health and Safety acts, make it a requirement to have a regular inspection of rigging and lifting equipment.
- Load testing reveals functional errors that only occur under stressing and lowers the frequency and serious nature of incidents involving overhead cranes and hoists.
- It is also important for learning what the performance bottlenecks and breaking points are on a piece of lifting equipment.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has also set forth certain standards for load testing to ensure that it is a part of regular maintenance.
Some of the standards that OSHA has set for include:
- Management should appoint a designated person to perform duties as an operator as well as a qualified person who has professional knowledge, training and experience when it comes to overhead cranes and hoists.
- Before use, all new and altered cranes need to be tested to ensure the following functions are working correctly: hoisting, lowering, trolley travel, bridge travel, limit switches and locking and safety devices.
- The trip setting of hoist-limit devices shall be determined by tests with an empty hook travelling at increasing speeds to the maximum speed.
- The actuating mechanism of the upper-limit device shall be located so that it will trip the device under all conditions and insufficient time to prevent contact of the hook or load block with any part of the trolley or crane.
In a Rated Load Test, the test loads cannot be less than 100 percent or more than 125 percent of the rated load capacity unless otherwise recommended by the manufacturer. These reports should be placed on a file so that they are easily accessible to appointed personnel. The timing of inspections and load testing depends on the equipment, frequency of use and conditions of the environment. Severe service load testing means normal or heavy use in some irregular or nonstandard environment.
The avoidance of costly accidents and fines is essential for your company’s bottom line. All performance and safety choices translate into profits and the justification for load testing is no different.
To recap, 4 important facts about load testing to keep in mind include:
- Load testing is not an optional choice, it is mandatory
- Management should appoint a designated person to perform duties as an operator
- Load testing helps to determine what the performance bottlenecks and breaking points are on a piece of lifting equipment
- Tests should not be less than 100 percent or more than 125 percent of the rated load capacity
Does your company regularly load test overhead cranes and hosts?
Comment your thoughts below!