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Overhead Crane Training Requirements

James Lang
Training Manager, Konecranes Training Institute

Operator error leads the list of contributing factors in overhead crane accidents. Thus, overhead crane training is a key concern for industries that depend on cranes.

Overhead crane accidents exact a substantial cost in human and financial terms. An analysis of 249 OSHA-reported crane accidents in the 10-year period from May 1, 1997, through April 30, 2007, reveals an estimated impact of more than $500 million in economic loss, along with 133 injuries and 133 fatalities.

The most impactful findings of the analysis: 70 percent of the 248 accidents could have been prevented by proper training and 74 percent occurred during routine job activities that require specific training to prepare employees.

This leaves no question that training is essential to safe crane operation. But, what are the requirements for crane training?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration standards for overhead and gantry cranes state, “Only designated personnel shall be permitted to operate a crane covered by this section” (1910.179(b)(8).

“Designated,” according to 1910.179(a)(35), refers to those individuals deemed to be qualified to operate an overhead crane for a specific application.

While OSHA standards do not spell out overhead crane training requirements, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers does get specific in the ASME B30.2 standard.

Section 2-3.1.2 states that training has to be specific to the equipment and task, or application, at hand. At Konecranes we have developed training programs for a variety of specialized cranes, such as a ship-to-shore crane that was commissioned in Lake Charles, LA, to off-load ships, and a gantry crane designed for moving trailers from rail cars in Memphis.

ASME B30.2 even offers a “but not limited to” list of what a training program should cover, as well as the responsibilities of a crane operator and others involved in moving loads. It further states that a company’s management is responsible to “provide training to persons who will operate a crane” (Section 2-3.3.3(b).
And if there’s any question about where you can obtain overhead crane training, ASME B30.2 covers that too: from equipment manuals and government training materials to “courses, seminars and literature” provided by crane manufacturers.

Konecranes offers training applicable to all brands of overhead cranes and hoists. To learn about the range of training available, visit the Konecranes Training Institute website. Training is available at the institute, as well as regional locations and on-site at customers’ facilities.

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