Establishing crane compliance is often a matter of debate. Whether it is the delivery of new equipment or an inspection, many owners are wondering how to determine if their crane is compliant. Here is a concise answer to this question. Details and references are provided later in the article.
LIFTING EQUIPMENT IS CONSIDERED COMPLIANT WHEN…
The device has been designed and manufactured to current standards,
The device has been installed and set up in accordance with best practices and in accordance with current standards,
The device has been inspected and maintained according to the manufacturer’s instructions and current standards,
The owner can demonstrate the above with supporting documentation.
As part of this article and on the date of its publication, the standards that must be taken into account for compliance are:
Equipment manufacturer’s standards and instructions,
CSA B167-16 standard,
Regulation respecting occupational health and safety (RSST fr.),
Other standards to which the above-mentioned standards refer (example CMAA, ISO, DIN, EN, etc.).
First, there are minimum requirements for the design, setup, inspection and maintenance of overhead cranes and similar lifting devices outlined in the Canadian standard CSA B167-16 (latest revision). Although this standard is not directly referenced by the Règlement sur la santé et la sécurité du travail in Quebec (RSST fr.), it does act as a minimum standard to follow. In addition, the RSST states: “Every piece of lifting equipment shall be inspected and serviced in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions or standards providing equivalent safety…” (Section 245 paragraph 5).
Compliance Determined by Complete Documentation
When we talk about compliance of lifting equipment, we see some confusion among the owners. Inspection, load testing, engineering, compliance…how do we get through all this terminology? Let’s demystify a little bit!
Each document attached to a lifting device is important and provides relevant and useful information to its owner. For example, it is true that drawings sealed by an engineer or the results of a load test are among the items to be provided in the event of an audit. But the compliance of the whole equipment is not limited to these documents. Another example is the inspection report. This useful tool provides a picture of the condition of the equipment and the actions required. But this report is frozen in time. A bad manoeuvre performed immediately after the inspection may have compromised the integrity of the device! For this reason, the compliance of a lifting device involves much more than an inspection at a specific time. The owner must be able at all times to demonstrate through a set of documents that the equipment meets all the standards in terms of engineering, structural capacity, maintenance, etc. How does this work in practice?
To ensure that a lifting device complies with standards, the equipment history will be reviewed. To do so, the documentation will be verified to ensure that current standards have been met and applied at all stages prior to its use, namely: design, manufacturing, approval, commissioning, load testing, etc. The box opposite describes the information that the crane manufacturer must provide to its owner in accordance with CSA B167-16 5.1.5. Then the same exercise must be done with respect to the useful life of the equipment. Inspections, repairs, maintenance, modifications, etc. must always be documented and available for the audit. This is what we call the logbook.
INFORMATION PROVIDED BY THE MANUFACTURER
CSA B167-16 article 5.1.5 – The manufacturer of an overhead crane shall provide the following information to the owner:
The characteristics of the lifting device, including: load capability, classification and operating speeds;
Installation instructions (or manuals), including engineer’s sealed drawings of the raceway or any other supporting structure;
The special environmental conditions applicable to the use of the elevating device, if any;
Special operating conditions, if any (e.g., high temperature use);
Specifications for the power supply and power system;
Clearances and dimensions;
Documents describing the technical design of the lifting device and its supporting structure;
Certification statements in accordance with applicable requirements; (e.g. electrical equipment approval) Notes: 1) In Canada, applicable requirements include certification of electrical equipment and marking in accordance with the requirements of the Canadian Electrical Code and the appropriate authority. 2) If no markings or certifications can be obtained (ESA, cFM, CSA, WH, cMET, etc.) or if jurisdictional requirements are not met, an on-site assessment will need to be performed (e.g., using CSA SPE-1000).
Certificates certifying that the commissioning, initial inspection and load tests (100% and 125% of rated capacity) have been successfully completed;
Information on parts, maintenance and any special considerations for the device, including inspection and replacement criteria for critical components;
Relevant handbooks, including: i. The user’s manual and warranty conditions; ii. Service manual; iii. Parts list.
Proof that the welding has been approved in accordance with section 5.5. (welded at a facility and by CWB welders).
In summary, crane compliance is not established briefly, but rather by a documented history from the design of the equipment to the end of its useful life. This information is the responsibility of the hoist owner. All these documents will establish the compliance of your lifting device, as specified in CSA B167-16.
How does a load test relate to compliance?
A load test is intended to “identify gross mechanical defects in materials or workmanship, design deficiencies, or other unexpected conditions” (CSA B167-16 Annex I.1.1.). It should only be done under special circumstances and with extreme caution. For that reason, it is better to avoid doing a load test if it is not absolutely necessary. Generally, useful information on the condition of equipment can be obtained through an inspection. In addition, a load test is not part of an inspection and does not replace it. It should therefore not be carried out on a periodic basis unless otherwise indicated. So, what is the relationship between the load test and the compliance of a lifting equipment? In most cases, a load test will be carried out at the installation of a lifting device, during a major modification or in special cases after a major repair. These actions must therefore be documented in the logbook as well as other actions to demonstrate compliance.