Cranes & Hoists

Review the Crane Safety Program which covers the protection of employees working with lifting machinery and in elevated areas. 

The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (University), through the Division of Safety and Compliance, Occupational Safety and Health Department (OSH), has established this Crane and Hoist Safety Program to protect the health of university students, faculty and staff and to promote compliance with State and Federal occupational safety and health standards.

This Program establishes the minimum requirements for unit-specific crane and hoist work practices and inspection procedures. It is expected that campus units will utilize this Program to develop unit-specific standard operating procedures (SOPs) including completion of Appendix A Unit-Specific SOPs and providing the first page to OSH.

Occupational Safety and Health (OSH)
OSH is responsible for the administration of this Program. OSH maintains copies of all records for services provided by OSH pertaining to this Program. An OSH program coordinator provides guidance, regulatory interpretation and oversight for this Program and reviews this Program annually. 

Deans, Department Heads, and Directors (Campus Units)
Campus Units shall provide the resources necessary to properly implement this Program and designate a Responsible Person that will be charged with implementing this Program.

Campus Unit Responsible Person
The Campus Unit Responsible Person shall ensure that any crane and hoist within their area of responsibility is inspected by a factory-trained employee or qualified contractor as specified in the Periodic Inspections section below.

Supervisors of Affected Employees (Supervisors)
Supervisors and Principle Investigators (PIs) are responsible for enforcing proper work practices under their responsible charge in accordance with this Program and unit-specific SOPs. They shall ensure that all of their personnel who may operate or work around cranes and hoists receive appropriate training.

Operators of Cranes and Hoists (Competent Operators)
Competent Operators shall:

  • Attend training on and follow the requirements of this Program;
  • Only operate cranes and hoists that they have trained on;
  • Follow all crane and hoist operating procedures;
  • Conduct the appropriate inspections when they are required and complete the required documentation as necessary;
  • Notify the supervisor of any deficiencies identified during inspections and report all incidents involving cranes and hoists to supervisors immediately; and
  • Maintain full attention on the task being performed (e.g., no use of headsets, music).


  • Equipment shall only be operated by a Competent Operator or trainee that is under the direct supervision of the Competent Operator.
  • No personnel shall be allowed to walk or be under a suspended load.
  • All employees who handle wire slings and hoist cables shall wear leather gloves to prevent hand injuries.
  • Proper guards must be in-place for exposed gears, belts, electrical equipment, couplings and fans.
  • Suspended loads shall be kept clear of all unnecessary obstructions and personnel.
  • Hands and fingers shall not be placed between the sling and its load while the sling is being tightened around the load.
  • Shock loading is prohibited.
  • A sling shall not be pulled from under a load when the load is resting on the sling.


Program Evaluation
This Program will be reviewed annually by OSH. The written Unit-Specific SOPs shall be reviewed and updated by the respective Campus Unit at least annually and more frequently as hazards, tasks, procedures and/or equipment change.

Appendix A - Standard Operating Procedures
Appendix B - Crane Inspections
Appendix C - Sling Inspections
Appendix D - Definitions
Appendix E - Program Audit Checklist

Useful Resources:
OSHA 1910.179 Overhead and Gantry Cranes Standard
OSHA 1910.184 Slings Standard
OSHA Guidance on Safe Sling Use