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Overhead Crane and Hoist Safety Talk

Overhead crane and hoist safety talk

Overhead crane and hoists are used regularly for material handling and often necessary. They are to assist with heavy lifting. However, there are risks involved when moving large, awkward and heavy items. We will cover some safety practices to be used while operating overhead crane and hoists.

Steps to take prior to operating equipment:

  • Equipment should be inspected on a regularly scheduled basis
  • Follow manufacturers recommendations regarding load capacity
  • Visually inspect all hoists, chains, hooks, straps etc. prior to each use
    • Inspect chains hooks, and blocks for damage such as stretching, gouges, nicks and distorted links; additionally, latches should be in place and working properly
    • Inspect hammerlock links for good movement with no sticking or jerking actions
  • Ensure any equipment that has been found defective is taken out of use and destroyed so that it is not mistakenly used
  • Be aware of proper chain and hook placement and attachment
  • Ensure appropriate personal protective equipment is worn for the material being handled

Safety with hands while moving equipment:

  • Watch hand placement while holding and moving material; keep hands away from pinch points that occur where the hook contacts the material
  • Once the hook or strap is in place move hands away from the area before moving the item
  • If loading or lifting items from a bin or crate, ensure hands stay clear of edges and away from material being lifted

Safety when lifting and moving material:

  • Large and heavy material should be secured to the hook or chain and lined up vertically before lifting to avoid swinging and potentially striking someone
  • Keep hands on the controller and chain not on part or from where part is being lifted
  • Keep in mind the way items may shift when lifted and stay out of the way
  • When moving material, do so low to the ground and at a slow steady pace


This article is provided solely as a reference tool to be used for information purposes only. The information in this article shall not be construed or interpreted as providing legal or any other advice. The information material does not amend the provisions of any insurance policy issued by CompSource Mutual. It is not a representation that coverage does or does not exist for any particular claim or loss under any such policy. Coverage depends on the facts and circumstances involved in the claim or loss, all applicable policy provisions, and any applicable law.

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