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Demystifying OSHA Equipment Inspection Requirements: A Look at Crane and Forklift Safety

What are the OSHA inspection requirements for equipment like forklifts and cranes? Learn about them in this comprehensive guide.

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Demystifying OSHA Equipment Inspection Requirements: A Comprehensive Look at Crane and Forklift Safety

It’s important to understand the OSHA inspection requirements for two crucial pieces of equipment: forklifts and cranes. Today, we’ll discuss this in-depth. Let’s get started right away!

OSHA Inspection Requirements for Cranes

The OSHA inspection requirements for cranes include:


  • Inspection By a Competent Individual – As the employer, it’s up to you to choose someone as the crane inspector. They must be familiar with the components and potential hazards. Likewise, this person has to be authorized to deal with the threats to eliminate them.
  • Functional Test – The functional test evaluates the crane and ensures it’s working correctly. The inspector will test and look at all the components, such as the braking system, control system, load-sustaining structural elements, and power plant.
  • Periodic and Frequent Inspections – You should be performing periodic and frequent inspections based on how often you use the crane. Most of the time, monthly checks are good, with a full inspection at one and 12-month intervals.

During the initial inspection, which is performed when you get a new crane or alter one, you’ll:

  • Review the altered, used, or new crane before use
  • Check hoisting and lowering
  • Check bridge and trolley travel
  • Check safety and locking devices
  • Check limit switches
  • Perform a load test
  • Replace/fix damaged parts

The frequent inspection is performed monthly or daily and during operational hours and includes:


  • Monthly inspection with certification records
  • Rope reeving based on manufacturer’s recommendations
  • Review operating mechanisms for wear and damages
  • Check hoist chains for twists and damage
  • Check hooks for damages or deformation
  • Check for deterioration or leaks in tanks, lines, drain pumps, and valves
  • Check for malfunctions that could interfere with the operation

OSHA Inspection Requirements for Forklifts

OSHA sets worker safety standards for forklifts to ensure that companies are following uniform rules throughout the country. We’ll now cover the inspection for forklifts and other powered industrial trucks.

  • Visual Check – Employees should be thoroughly inspecting the forklift, and this should happen before every shift. It will focus on malfunctioning or broken systems. The engine should be off, and you’ll also be testing fluid levels (hydraulics, water, and oil) while checking for leaks and cracks.
  • Operating Inspection – Once you’ve done the visual check, you’ll turn on the forklift. Look at the hand and foot controls to make sure they’re working correctly. You’ll also focus on the brakes, raise the forks, honk the horn, and cover all other features. If one of the controls malfunctions or doesn’t work, you should repair it before operating it.
  • Document Your Inspections – Though OSHA doesn’t require documentation of the inspections, it’s a great idea. If an accident happens, OSHA could audit your company’s safety practices. Having proof that the inspections took place will be handy here.

Final Thoughts on OSHA Inspection Requirements for Cranes and Forklifts

Being safe is crucial when working in construction or in the industrial field. You’ll often come into contact with forklifts and cranes. OSHA requires all employees to be fully trained, and this also extends to inspecting the equipment before and during operation.


Renting such equipment is often a good idea, and Record360 can assist. In fact, we offer photo video documentation tools, which provide evidence of the condition to recover from damages. Are you ready to see what Record360 can do? Request a demo today!

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