Regulations and specifications

...related to the inspection of cranes, hoists, lifting accessories and lifting hardware

The employer is responsible for ensuring that the equipment used complies with all valid regulations. All lifting accessories used for lifting operations must be appropriately inspected to ensure that they can be used safely.

The following instructions on inspections apply to the products in our product range:

Crane means any power-driven lifting machine which is used for lifting, lowering and transferring loads, and in which the movements of the load are controlled only by a lifting rope, chain or equivalent mechanism. That is, a crane must be ¹power-driven and used for ²lifting, ²lowering and ³transferring. All the above properties (1 + 2 + 3) must be simultaneously valid.

Please note, on the other hand, that in the case of a power-driven device, even one valid property is sufficient (2 or 3). For example, a manual chain hoist with a pneumatic trolley is considered a crane. In our product range, all electrical and pneumatic chain hoists equipped with a trolley are considered cranes.

For inspection instructions on cranes with a working load limit of no more than 500 kg, see below. If a power-driven chain hoist is permanently mounted in one location, it is not considered a crane.

Lifting accessory
A lifting accessory means a component or equipment that is not attached to its location and that is placed between the crane hook and the load, or on the load itself, for its attachment.

Lifting accessories in our product range include products such as the following:

  • wire rope slings
  • chain slings
  • webbing slings
  • round slings
  • fibre rope slings
  • plate clamps
  • magnetic lifters
  • crane forks
  • grabs
  • lifting beams
  • drum handling devices
  • vacuum lifters

Lifting accessory combination means, for example, the following combination:

  • crane rail (IPE beam)
  • trolley
  • chain sling
  • hoist
  • webbing sling
  • separate lifting accessory, i.e. lifting hardware (shackle).

Separate lifting accessory or lifting hardware means an accessory, such as an eyehook, shackle, ring or eyebolt, which helps in creating or using sling.

The regulations for inspections changed on 1 January 2009 when the new Government Decree on the Safe Use and Inspection of Work Equipment (403/2008) entered into force (and repealed the old work equipment decision [856/1998]). The key change compared to the old regulations lies in the fact that the new Decree's drawing attention to the requirement that all work equipment be kept safe during its operational life, through regular service and maintenance. The employer must continuously monitor the working order of the work equipment by carrying out inspections, tests, measurements, and by other suitable means. There are two types of inspections; an initial inspection, which must be performed before taking the equipment into use for the first time, and periodic inspections to be performed after the initial inspection.

Regarding inspections of cranes, account should be taken of the fact that the provisions concerning inspections do not apply to cranes whose working load limit is no more than 500 kg. This means that no inspection in accordance with these regulations is required for a 500-kg electric chain hoist with a trolley. After the initial inspection, cranes must be inspected at one-year intervals. An inspection must be carried out by a suitably qualified person. Concerning the competencies of those carrying out the inspection, transitional provisions will apply until the end of 2011. The safe operating period of a crane is considered to be 10 years under normal conditions, after which a thorough periodic inspection must be performed.

Inspection of work equipment – work equipment means lifting accessories:

  • magnetic lifters
  • kmanual chain hoists
  • chain slings
  • lifting accessory combinations
  • lifting hardware (shackle, lifting eye bolt)

According to the new requirements, the employer must ensure that the work equipment is in working order at all times. Inspections should be carried out in accordance with the expected use of the work equipment. If work equipment is used a great deal, it must be inspected frequently. On the other hand, a less frequent inspection schedule can be applied to work equipment that is used only once a month, for example. The new legislation extends the inspection obligation to separate lifting accessories (lifting hardware), such as shackles. The importance of the manufacturer's instructions is emphasised under the new system.

A qualified person who is familiar with the structure and purpose of the work equipment can carry out the inspection and testing necessary to ensure that the equipment is in working order. When necessary, an external expert must be used. The employer can ensure the safety of work equipment by establishing a proper condition monitoring system.



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