When considering what to look for during a mobile crane inspection,
site supervision should ensure checklists and inspection forms are in use which can help personnel perform their work. If an inspection is not accompanied by a document (sometimes the daily), it is helpful to remind the field folks conducting the review to focus on "MESH"; mechanical, electrical, structural and hydraulic.
M - Mechanical includes everything with linkages which activate or deactivate control devices. A pawl system, foot brakes and clutches, rotating gears, drive chain, sprockets and limit devices are a few examples of M.
E - Electrical connections, wiring, fuses, batteries, sensors, load moment indicators, alarms, contacts and switches all fall into the E group.
S - Structural components like boom sections, outrigger beams and jibs/extensions all qualify for the S family.
H - Hydraulic pistons, hoses, fluid reservoir, filters and seals are in the H category, along with pneumatic items such as air lines and tanks.
Though not a comprehensive list, the above MESH collection can help spot problems and determine if a more in-depth evaluation is necessary, by a qualified person.
Happy trails to my crane and rigging friends,
ITI - Field Services
The ACRP (Association of Crane & Rigging Professionals
) met in
Shreveport, LA during May 11-13, 2010. A series of in-depth presentations were made on the most current updates to the ASME volumes, including ITI's
Devon Beasley's discussion about ASME B30.2 Overhead Cranes and B30.5 Mobile Cranes. A special highlight of the series was offered by Paul Sweeney, Chair of B30.1 Jacks, Industrial Rollers, Air Casters and Telescopic Hydraulic Gantry Systems. Mr. Sweeney is in charge of crane and rigging engineering group at Electric Boat - General Dynamics' shipyard in Groton, CT.
Tom DeSoo of Slingmax/I&I Sling presented a terrific overview of ASME B30.9 Slings with a review of inspection and removal criteria. Also, The Crosby Group's Danny Bishop provided attendees with the updates to ASME B30.10 Hooks and ASME B30.26 Rigging Hardware, during the technical session series.
A very informative session was provided by Michael Greenwood of Samson Ropes, which outlined the expanded usage of synthetic rope slings developed using Dyneema fibers, commonly known as HMPE (high-modulus polyethylene). These slings help in the super-lift category around the world, particularly in the offshore construction industry.
Mike Parnell of ITI presented three short topics on Positive Connections, Accident Causation and Engineered Sling Protection. The Crosby Group hosted a 2-hour tour of their Longview, TX forging plant where much of their shackle and load binder manufacturing is performed.
The General Assembly voted to issue letters of endorsement to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in support of the development of new chapters or volumes for three subjects; Lift Planning, Wire Rope and Strand Jacks.
The 2011 ACRP meeting is slated for Milwaukee, WI (May 10-13) with a host of technical sessions, including a tour of the Manitowoc Crane manufacturing facility. To become a member of ACRP and to participate in next year's event visit www.acrp.net.
When the new construction crane standard goes into effect in the updated OSHA 29CFR1926
this summer (2010), a result of the CDAC efforts, our industry will see the growing demand for Signalpersons who have qualified by written and performance testing (typically through a nationally accredited program). Some key tips that signalperson test candidates want to remember are these:
- Understand crane operations and limitations. The signaler needs to know what results may occur when certain signals are given to direct a crane operator (especially boom type cranes). Gain or loss of capacity can happen fast and giving a "boom down" signal may put a crane into an overload condition very quickly.
- Understand special assignments as a signalperson. These may include but not be limited to "blind pick" relay signals, serving as a special assigned signaler during lifts made in the "prohibited zone", or during lifting activity incorporating a suspended personnel platform.
- Be able to truly present the hand signals. These are illustrated and explained in ASME B30.5, B30.2 and B30.3. There is a huge movement to "standardize" hand signals between the two most active Signalperson certifying groups CIC and NCCCO. Both groups have built practical exams that require the candidate to be very "exacting" in how the hand signals are given during the testing. These tests are patterned after the ASME signals, and there is almost no allowance given for "old school" or lazy hand signals.
- Be able to give voice signals in a format as presented in ASME B30.5. During the certification testing, the candidates must adhere to the following format, a) Function and Direction, b) Distance or Speed, c) Function and STOP. Many varieties exist but in order to be successful during the current national exams, the format described should be the basis for written or performance test questions.
- Understand what to do if there is a failure in the "continuous" communication process. As implied, all signals are to be continuous, whether hand or voice. If an "unplanned event" occurs to the signalperson he should give a "stop" or "emergency stop" until the event can be sorted out and the load moved without incident. Additionally, if the operator cannot see or hear the signals and suspects an "unplanned loss of contact" has occurred, he should stop moving the crane and load until the situation can be rectified. The signalperson needs to know what to do during "unplanned events".
CAUTION to all Readers! Many "regional" signaling method variations exist. In order to be successful during the current national exams, the hand and voice format as described in ASME B30.5, B30.2 and B30.3 should be strictly adhered to when completing all of your written and/or performance tests.
An excellent instructional manual for Signalperson exam candidates is available at www.iti.com/bookstore. Request Item #3155 - Student Guide - Signalperson Training Course.
As you know in ASME B30.9 SLINGS and other industry documents that highlight sling capacities, there are stated design factors. Also in B30.26 RIGGING HARDWARE which covers shackles, swivel hoist rings, eye bolts, rigging blocks and the like, design factors between 4 and 5 are listed.
The primary reason for design factors is to account for some measurable amount of wear to the sling or component during its lifespan. This wear will reduce its overall minimum breaking force (ultimate strength). This may occur in the form of metal loss in links of a chain sling or in the bow or pin of a shackle. The respective manufacturers have pre-calculated the amount of loss they can live with before calling for the equipment's removal from service.
The second reason is unexpected overload which may occur during dynamic lifting. A crane that lifts a load quickly can temporarily cause an increased tension to the rigging, the crane block, hoist rope and crane structure. Sometimes an unexpected overload can happen if the person rigging doesn't account for a sling's change of capacity due to hitch type and angle from horizontal. Two slings used in basket hitches (90 degree) then converted to choker hitches (30 degree, each) on the same load might show a change of capacity of -60%. If the original load were applied, the new "in field" design factor would be 2 instead of 5. If lifted or lowered quickly, the sling(s) can fail due to a miscalculation of tension-to-capacity and "shock load".
Design factors in rigging have saved more folks than we will ever know. Damage we can generally spot, so the first issue can be more easily avoided. Without obtaining or estimating the load's weight in advance, the hitch method, the rigging capacity and the angle from horizontal, the rigger can unexpectedly overload the rigging gear and experience a failure without notice.
A solid foundation and continuing education in rigging principles can help overcome these challenges and lead to ongoing success!
- They are very hungry for technical information and always appreciate your input. They try hard to apply your instruction and are willing students.
- Borrowing equipment for hands-on training is difficult since there are only so many cranes available due to contracted work at a facility, such as an oil & gas production site. Work fast and early to secure the necessary cranes and rigging for the practical workshops.
- Respect the hierarchy of the operation. When providing training, always prepare by gaining an understanding of how the operation and departments interact, and who is responsible for what. Don't assume they are operating based on a U.S. model or structure.
- Know your surroundings and understand the risks related to getting into and out of the facility hosting the training. There are still thousands of kidnappings each year in Colombia, and your safety may be compromised for a variety of reasons. My last trip to Colombia ended up with our security detail carrying Uzi's. Fortunately, they were pointed away from our party and not at us.
- What are the existing practices as witnessed by the audit team? How are they operating their cranes and using their rigging? What do the last 36 months of accident reports look like? Can the operators defend the cranes by answering load chart or capacity questions during field interviews? Are the riggers able to answer questions about sling and shackle capacities based on tensions?
- What is the status of the training of personnel? Are there records that substantiate the training for operators, riggers, signalpersons, maintenance personnel and supervisors? Have they received training in critical lift planning and the responsibilities of the lift director? Do the records contain examples of the training packages used for instruction? Was there hands-on training that accompanied the classroom sessions?
- What is the condition of the equipment? Is there an active maintenance program in place, and are there records denoting repairs and maintenance for various cranes? Is there an active replacement program for damaged rigging? Is there a 3rd party conducting crane and hoist inspections and if so, is it a pencil-whipped process or are they really finding items that have been overlooked during the daily and monthly inspections?
- Is management willing to provide solutions? Is site management willing to spend time and money to upgrade equipment as needed? Do they respond to equipment being tagged "out of service" with reasonable repair orders, or do they override their personnel's field decisions? Is there a budget for equipment (cranes, slings, hoists) repair, replacement, retirement and new purchase?
At times, folks who use mobile and overhead crane, slings, shackles, chain hoists other rigging equipment have questions about the guidance and instruction provided in the ASME B30 series of Volumes (1-27). The request must have the following information in order to be considered by the appropriate B30 Subcommittee:
Volume, Edition, Subject, and Question of specific provision.
An example of request submission might look like this:
ASME B30.9 SLINGS-2006, 9-2.9.4 Removal Criteria, (f) end attachments that are cracked, deformed, or worn to the extent that the strength of the sling is substantially affected. Question, "Is severe metal loss of a wire rope sling's carbon steel sleeve considered as a removal criteria under 9-2.9.4(f)"?
To request an interpretation of a portion of a B30 Volume, the writer needs to address an email to HyamK@asme.org (Kate Hyam, B30 Secretary), using the Volume, Edition, Subject and Question format as outlined above.
*Provided by Mike Parnell, Vice Chair of the ASME B30 Main Committee and President of ITI, Woodland, WA. (firstname.lastname@example.org)