Do’s and Don’ts for Hoist and Crane Operation

Man standing with craneWritten By John Sprovieri. Originally Posted on October 5, 2020.

Hoists and cranes boost productivity, improve ergonomics and reduce damage to parts and assemblies. That’s not to say, however, that assemblers can take a cavalier attitude toward these devices. Here are some do’s and don’ts for using hoists and cranes.


  • Do read the ASME/ANSI B30 safety standard for cranes.
  • Do not lift more than the rated load.
  • Do read the hoist manufacturer’s operating and maintenance instructions.
  • Do not use a hoist that is not working correctly.
  • Do be familiar with operating controls, procedures and warnings on the unit.
  • Do not use a hoist with twisted, kinked, damaged or worn wire rope or chain.
  • Do make sure hook travel is in the same direction as shown on controls.
  • Do not lift a load unless wire rope or chain is properly seated.
  • Do make sure hoist limit switches function properly.
  • Do not use the hoist’s load-limiting device to measure the load.
  • Do maintain firm footing when operating hoist.
  • Do not use wrap wire rope or chain around the load.
  • Do make sure that slings are properly sized and seated in the hook saddle.
  • Do not lift a load if binding prevents equal loading on all supporting ropes and chains.
  • Do use hook latches wherever possible and make sure that the latches are closed during
  • use.
  • Do not operate unless load is centered under the hoist.
  • Do make sure that the load is free to move and will clear all obstructions.
  • Do not allow your attention to be diverted from operating the hoist.
  • Do take up slack carefully, check the load balance, move the load a few inches, and check load holding action before continuing.
  • Do not operate hoist beyond limits of rope or chain travel.
  • Do keep the load or hook from swinging.
  • Do not use limit switches as routine operating stops unless recommended. They are emergency devices only.
  • Do make sure that workers stay clear of the suspended load.
  • Do not use hoist to lift, support or transport people.
  • Do warn personnel of an approaching load.
  • Do not lift loads over people.
  • Do protect wire rope and load chain from weld spatter or other damaging contaminants.
  • Do not leave a suspended load unattended.
  • Do promptly report any malfunction, unusual performance, or damage to the unit.
  • Do not allow sharp contact between two hoists or between hoist and obstructions.
  • Do inspect the unit regularly, replace damaged or worn parts, and keep records of maintenance.
  • Do not adjust or repair a hoist unless you are qualified.
  • Do use the manufacturer’s recommended parts when repairing the unit.
  • Do lubricate the wire rope or load chain as recommended by the manufacturer.
  • Do not lengthen the load rope or chain or repair damaged load rope or chain.

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